Building A Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Industry

Together with our partner Green Step Solutions Inc., TOTA is working to develop a regional Charter of Sustainability — the first of its kind in North America. Through the process we will be working in consultation with stakeholders throughout the region and drawing from International Best Practices in countries such as New Zealand and France.

The following provides a brief outline of the scope of work that will be undertaken in the development of this Charter.

Best Practice Research

A best practice research report for sustainability charters in the tourism industry, including a high level analysis of:

  • The World Charter for Sustainable Tourism guidelines provided by UNESCO, UNEP, UNWTO and others.
  • A minimum of three regional sustainability charters.

Key interviews to be conducted with tourism professionals and academics to identify key trends, challenges and opportunities for sustainable tourism including a review of 3-5 existing reports on sustainable tourism.

This process will serve to inform and provide a baseline as well as provide insights for participants throughout the development of Charter.


Steering Committee Briefing/Constulation & Project Scoping Document

A steering committee of TOTA staff and stakeholders will be established to help guide the process of developing the Sustainability Charter as well as to refine the outcomes of workshops and other stakeholder consultations.

Baseline Analysis

TOTA will conduct an online survey open to all TOTA stakeholders, to gain insight about their awareness, understanding and interest in sustainability and tourism, as well as their ideals for inclusion in a sustainability charter. This will serve as an initial high level consultation, as well as to establish a regional baseline from which to measure how the Charter and TOTA’s future sustainability-related initiatives impact stakeholders and the region over time.

Road Show Mini Sessions

During the annual TOTA road show  a brief engagement session will be held, to help raise awareness of the upcoming workshops, encourage participation and gain input from road-show attendees and broaden the reach of consultation.

Two Multi-Regional Full-Day Workshops

Two multi-regional workshops will be  conducted to include participants from all communities within the TOTA region. Workshops will have the following key components:

  • Review of The Natural Step concepts and basic sustainability education establishing a common language for sustainability. (2 hours)
  • Presentation of Best Practices research and baseline survey findings. (2 hours)
  • Facilitated brainstorm to create a compelling vision and to uncover the underlying values, goals and potential actions/commitments towards those goals, which will serve as the basis for drafting the sustainability charter. (4 hours)

Final Sustainability Charter & Endorsement

A final Sustainability Charter document will be prepared following the consultation and workshop process which TOTA will circulate back to Stakeholders for approval and endorsement.

To learn more or take part in this Advisory Committee or attend the Regional Workshops contact Ellen Walker-Matthews at