Sustainable Tourism

Indigenous groups welcoming the 2010 Olympics
The essence of Sustainable tourism is tourism that doesn’t sacrifice the sustainability of the world’s environmental, economic, and social systems. In other words, it attempts to make a low or zero impact on the environment and local culture, while economically supporting the locally community by generating income and employment.

According to the World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism is tourism that leads to the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems.

The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. Rather than being a type of product, it is an ethos that underpins all tourism activities. As such, it is integral to all aspects of tourism development and management rather than being an add-on component.

Sustainable Tourism in Vancouver[1]

Being Green in Vancouver is more than just a trend. It is a commitment to sustainability that can be seen by the morning commuters who choice to bike instead of driving, and the commitment of the City to Green building and sustainable city planning.

The city of Vancouver has taken on the audacious goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020, and to Vancouver reach its goal of becoming the by 2020, Tourism Vancouver has created an internal Green Team to implement small-but - significant changes to the way they go about their daily business: double-sided printing, increased recycling, and tele-commuting, to name just a few. Their most recent initiatives include: 

BC Hydro partnership
Tourism Vancouver has partnered with BC Hydro to promote energy efficiency and energy conservation within the Vancouver tourism industry, with the goal of reducing consumption and profiling Vancouver as a leading sustainable tourism destination.Together, BC Hydro and Tourism Vancouver have compiled a Conservation Library as a go-to resource for our members. It's full of energy-saving tips, information, and programs to help improve the bottom line of their businesses and reduce environmental impacts.

Tourism Ambassadors for Conservation program
Tourism Vancouver has partnered with BC Hydro and ETHOS BC to help lower the bar on acceptable energy consumption within the tourism industry. They want a commitment to energy conservation to become the "new normal" across the industry. They also want to challenge their members to look at other sustainability initiatives, including becoming carbon neutral, identifying new waste management practices and educating staff and the public on the awareness of all environmental issues. They've invited recognized leaders in the hospitality business to take a conservation pledge. Once they're on board, they'll chronicle their efforts to "power down" and conserve energy. 

Uniglobe carbon offset program
In 2009, they were the first tourism marketing organization to commit to "greening" their corporate air travel by purchasing carbon offset credits through Uniglobe Vision Travel's Green Flight Program. That means every time they travel for business-or bring others to visit them in Vancouver – they help support federally approved sustainable energy projects in western Canada. And they offer meeting planners the same opportunity to offset the travel of their Vancouver-bound convention delegates. 

Metropolitan Fine Printers Partnership - Green printing
When they have to print brochures and marketing materials, they favour Metropolitan Fine Printers, one of North America's most environmentally conscious printing companies. Metropolitan is one of the first commercial printers in Western Canada to obtain Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and they are now a 100% Carbon Free Plant. 

Provincial Level
Across British Columbia, at all levels of government, political leaders are taking action to balance economic viability with environmental responsibility. The province of BC was the first jurisdiction in North America to have a 100 per cent carbon-neutral public sector and launched an aggressive Climate Action Plan to curtail carbon emissions. They have protected more than 13.5 million hectares (33 million acres) of wilderness - more than any other province in Canada. And they generate more than 90 per cent of their electricity from no-carbon or low-carbon sources. 

Learn more: Province of BC

City of Vancouver

Metro Vancouver

[1] information from Tourism Vancouver's website