IMPACT: Achieving Tourism Sustainability

The various ways to create, implement and measure tourism sustainability strategies and practices will be a key focus of the upcoming IMPACT Sustainability Travel and Tourism Conference in Victoria, BC next week.

The IMPACT Conference program will feature more than 30 expert presenters and 200-plus delegates, who will tackle sustainability issues in the tourism industry through panel discussions and workshops. The conference, now in its third year, will take place at the Victoria Conference Centre, Jan. 19-22.

The conference was created with the goal of aligning the Canadian tourism industry, stakeholders and communities behind a vision to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability. Its focus is on innovation and valid solutions to the issues of sustainability in tourism.

The conference is co-chaired by Keith Henry, president and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Marion Joppé, representing the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) of Canada. This is Canada’s only conference convened specifically to consider the sustainable future of tourism both nationally and abroad.

Session topics in 2020 will include the progress of the Canadian tourism industry year over year on climate action and the UN’s sustainable development goals; sustainability challenges and best practices from across the country; striking the right balance between visitors and residents; aviation and cruise impacts on sustainable tourism; workshops to help delegates choose the best metrics for their regenerative tourism goals; and determining the best sustainable development goals for each organization and community.

Presenters will include Bob Sandford, chair for water and climate security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment & Health; Wade Davis, National Geographic explorer, anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer specializing in Indigenous cultures; Julie Middleton, head of sustainable practice at The Travel Foundation (UK); Kehkashan Basu, founder and president of Green Hope Foundation and a United Nations human rights champion; Christina Beckmann, senior director of strategy and impact for the Adventure Travel Trade Association; and Charlotte Bell, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

IMPACT starts on Jan. 19 with a “Day of Impact” tour program. That will give delegates to chance to see thriving local tourism businesses that have implemented innovative sustainable practices into their everyday operations.

Pictured, partners and organizers of the IMPACT Sustainability Conference include (l-r) Marion Joppe, Keith Henry, Paul Nursey, Tracey Sims, Starr McMichael, Alex Eady, Kayli Anderson, Sarah Richards, Jill Doucette and Deirdre Campbell.