Vancouver Island marked as sustainable destination after being granted global certificate

Vancouver Island marked as sustainable destination after being granted global certificate

Vancouver Island’s tourism organization, 4VI (formerly Tourism Vancouver Island) has achieved the Responsible Tourism Institute’s Biosphere certification, which marks the region as being a sustainable global destination.

4VI says that it was a year-long process in order to get the recognition, but received the certificate, which ultimately acknowledges Vancouver Island as a sustainable destination for tourists.

The achievement suggests that Vancouver Island’s practices align with the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations in areas that include climate change, environment, social, economy and culture.

“4VI is committed to advancing the well-being and sustainability of Vancouver Island’s communities, businesses, culture and environment,” says Anthony Everett, President & CEO, of 4VI. “Our team has been working collaboratively with local stakeholders to develop a sustainable action plan that incorporates matters of shared importance across Vancouver Island. Biosphere certification will secure Vancouver Island’s reputation as an internationally recognized sustainable destination.”

Vancouver Island joins a select group of just under 50 destinations worldwide to have received the Biosphere certification, including only four organizations in Canada – all of which are located in British Columbia. The other three regions include Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association and Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.

These four British Columbia-based organizations, along with Northern BC Tourism Association, signed a commitment to pursue Biosphere certification together on Earth Day in 2021.

Biosphere certification is the first program of global significance 4VI has achieved for Vancouver Island since its industry-leading transition from a destination management organization to a social enterprise.

“The decision to become a Biosphere-certified destination is rooted in 4VI’s organizational mandate to power the stewardship of our destination and our home,” explains Janet Docherty, Chair, 4VI Board of Directors. “We look forward to working with BCRTS as well as Destination Greater Victoria – who will sign a letter of commitment to pursue Biosphere certification at IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism being held in Victoria this week – to achieve our collective goals.”

“The world needs more destinations like Vancouver Island, that are committed to sustainability and respect for the environment,” concludes Patricio Azcárate, General Secretary of the Responsible Tourism Institute.


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