Sustainability commitments prioritized for the Cowichan Region

Tourism Cowichan and 4VI collaborate on Biosphere Commitment for Sustainable Tourism

Oct. 20, 2023, Quw’utsun Territory (Duncan, BC) – Tourism Cowichan, the organization responsible for destination management and marketing for the Cowichan Region, is now a Biosphere Committed Destination with the goal of achieving full certification by fall 2024. 

The Biosphere Certification Program is a globally recognized sustainability management and certification system that aligns with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, making it a leading tool for fostering sustainable practices worldwide. By becoming Biosphere Committed, Tourism Cowichan confirms a commitment to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“Becoming Biosphere Committed is an integral first step that will guide our vision towards long-term resiliency and sustainability for Cowichan’s businesses, communities, and natural ecosystems,” said Kenzie Knight, Tourism Development Specialist for Tourism Cowichan.“We are committed to ongoing learning while actioning destination stewardship projects that align with the SDGs, benefitting both our residents and visitors.” 

This commitment will allow Tourism Cowichan to tailor their sustainability efforts and focus on the areas most relevant to their businesses, stakeholders and rightsholders. This includes the environment and climate change, society and culture, and governance and economy. The sustainability action plan will encourage collaboration on regenerative projects, increase industry development opportunities, and gather improved data for evidence-based decision making. 

4VI launched the Vancouver Island Biosphere Commitment Program in 2022 to support businesses and communities as they navigate changing tourism trends and creating a more sustainable tourism industry. Through 4VI, the Vancouver Island Region became a Biosphere Certified destination in April 2022.  

“Market trends show that travellers are increasingly valuing sustainability when making travel choices,” said Kyla Egan, Director, Sustainability, 4VI. “Tourism Cowichan’s Biosphere Commitment will aim to enhance the destination’s appeal to visitors and attract value-aligned visitors.”

For more information on the Biosphere Commitment program facilitated by 4VI, visit https://forvi.ca/biosphere-commitment-program/.

About Tourism Cowichan

Gratefully situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Quw’utsun, Malahat, Halalt, Ts’uubaa-asatx, Penelakut, Stz’uminus, Lyackson, Pauquachin, Ditidaht & Pacheedaht Peoples, the Tourism Cowichan Society (TCS) is a non-profit society delivering destination management services to the region. The primary goal is to build responsible tourism campaigns that benefit all local businesses, communities, cultures, and the environment. TCS is active in gathering input and feedback on the current state of tourism through relationships with our stakeholders, 4VI, Destination British Columbia, the Tourism Industry Association of BC, and many other supporting organizations. Learn more at tourismcowichan.com

About 4VI

4VI is a social enterprise created to ensure travel is a force for good — forever. Headquartered on Vancouver Island, the organization takes a holistic approach to its work through the use of four pillars of social responsibility: businesses, communities, culture, and the environment. 4VI is putting its expertise into action by delivering innovative tourism advisory services for destinations and businesses through its for-profit arm. In addition, they proudly provide regional destination management services for the Vancouver Island Region through an agreement with Destination British Columbia. 4VI is the first destination management organization of its kind to not just commit to changing how tourism is managed, but to developing the corporate structure as a social enterprise that drives this much needed change. Learn more at forvi.ca

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Media contact:

Karly Upshall, Coordinator, Engagement & Travel Media, 4VI: 780-897-1219 orkarly@forvi.ca

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