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TIAO Project Highlights: Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario

TIAO Project Highlights: Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario
23 Feb 2023 by Sapphire Supersad

Originally announced at OTS21, under the title “Game On B.C”, the Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario project has the goal of making Ontario the most sustainable province in Canada. Through TIAOs partnership with GreenStep Solutions, this project intends to progress sustainability across the province and provide support along the way, guiding tourism organizations and destinations on their regenerative and sustainable tourism journey.   

The term “sustainability” often suggests the images of the environment and climate change, remaining within a narrow scope of issues and solutions, versus what sustainability truly means and its significance beyond these areas. Sustainability, while highly involved and important to environmental issues, extends into social and economic concerns businesses and destinations may be facing. Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario looks at sustainability holistically, incorporating it into management, social, economic and cultural aspects for a business or destination.  

Having a personal interest in learning the correlation and interconnectivity of social, economic and environmental dimensions, as well as an eagerness to support destination and community development, this project encapsulates why I was thrilled to join TIAO and where I see my ideal career in the tourism industry; championing the advancement of businesses and destinations within their own organization or region and beyond.  

Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario supports the enhancement of businesses and destinations with a step-by-step process of assessing their strengths and areas for improvement, setting clear goals and actions, tracking their progress, certifying their achievements, and striving for continuous improvement. This project complements the work organizations and destinations have already done, acknowledging their efforts and pleasantly surprising them that they may have done more in the realm of sustainability than they initially thought.  

Having the incredible opportunity to attend the IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference in Victoria, B.C, I have continued to witness that every business and destination is at a unique point in their sustainability journey – some are leading examples, while others don’t know where to begin and are looking for guidance. No matter where a business or destination is on its path to sustainable tourism, there are always opportunities to learn more and progress. Together with the sustainable tourism experts at GreenStep, I am looking forward to supporting and encouraging their efforts toward a regenerative and sustainable future.