BUILDING A RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM INDUSTRY
What is Biosphere?
Biosphere is a Responsible Tourism System (RTS) certified by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), an international accreditation body that maintains a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is affiliated to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), and is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
The system is aligned with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and the Paris COP21 Accord to fight Climate Change. It is also aligned with the requisites and recommendations for certification of the World Charter on Sustainable Tourism +20.
The system offers a holistic approach to sustainability in which all distinctions associated with different aspects of sustainability (corporate social responsibility, service quality, environmental management, etc.) are integrated.
What does it mean to be a Biosphere Certified Destination?
On November 2, 2017, the Thompson Okanagan Region was officially certified as the first destination in the Americas to have successfully achieved the Sustainable Tourism Destination accreditation from Biosphere International and the Responsible Tourism Institute.
During the certification process, the Thompson Okanagan had to provide answers and evidence for 137 questions covering the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). This was followed by an onsite audit to review our evidence and complete a documentation and ongoing action plan for certification.
Certification is just the beginning, and next steps include the implementation of an annual action plan as provided through the audit to ensure the region continues to move forward in its ongoing effort to remain and continue to grow as a sustainable tourism destination.