Making An IMPACT

IMPACT – which bills itself as Canada’s conference on sustainability and innovation in tourism – will be held from Jan. 21-24, 2018 in Victoria, BC.

Designed to spark discussions about the legacy of tourism within Canada, which can no longer be ignored, IMPACT’s goal is to gather a wide range of stakeholders from across Canada to launch a national dialogue on tourism’’s impact.

The conference kicks off with a series of policy in action tours. These full day tours take place in and around Victoria, BC, and highlight the innovation and challenges facing one of Canada’s busiest tourism cities.

Delegates can choose between three themes: marine, transportation and hospitality, each at an additional cost of $99 per person.

The following two and a half days are designed to facilitate group discussions to further identify future challenges and opportunities which should be addressed now, before it is too late.

Plenary sessions include:

  • CANADA: What Are We Sustaining? — A look at Canada’s current trajectory and how we compare on a global scale. Featuring David F. Goldstein, CEO of Destination Canada, author Elizabeth Becker, along with conference co-chairs Keith Henry, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and Dr. Rachel Dodds, Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University.
  • Floods, Fires & Frost – How is your destination impacted by climate change? Learning from the wildfires and floods.
  • Lessons From The North – Preparing for increased tourism: creating products that celebrate culture and preserve the wild.
  • Tourism As A Tool For Conserving Natural & Cultural Assets – Exploring how using tourism for environmental and social good creates strong economic return.
  • Overbooked – When more isn’t better: understanding capacity and addressing seasonality and tourism dispersion.

Breakout sessions will cover a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Canada’s Top Walkable & Bikeable Cities – How they built an active transportation network and culture?
  • Frameworks for Sustainable Destinations and Operators – Exploring tourism certifications and standards that promote holistic growth and turn lofty goals into action.
  • Help Wanted: Addressing the Crippling Shortage of Labour – Work with a facilitator from Tourism HR Canada to explore solutions that are building a dynamic, inclusive and resilient workforce.
  • From Place to Place: The Future of Low Emissions Travel – How Canada’s top innovators are decarbonizing the way we travel by air, water and ground.
  • Sustainable Tourism Development: Exploring indigenous Solutions – Showcasing tourism that honours tradition and looks towards the future. Leveraging tourism to redevelop connections to language, heritage and community.

Each day will also include a “Morning Dose of Innovation,” – three, six-minute talks to focus on solutions and opportunities and to set the stage for deeper discussions. The last session of the conference will be facilitated by Twenty31 with a goal to highlight critical opportunities, threats and solutions along with next steps, as identified throughout, “the Gathering.””

IMPACT is being held in Victoria, BC, co-chaired by Henry and Dodds. Registration is now open, with registration fees set at $495 until Dec. 15; $595 until Jan. 18. 2018.

Additional information is available at