Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association recognized with International accreditation

Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association recognized with International accreditation

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) has been awarded accreditation by the international body which recognizes tourism organizations that achieve a standard of excellence in all areas of its operation.

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) has announced from its Washington, DC headquarters that TOTA has successfully demonstrated that its policies, practices and operations meet the highest standards and satisfy all the criteria for accreditation under DMAI’s ‘Destination Marketing Accreditation Program’ (DMAP).

TOTA joins a select group of destination management and marketing organizations which have achieved the international DMAP accreditation.  DMAP includes 58 mandatory and 30 voluntary standards of excellence in operational areas such as governance, finance, human resources, technology, marketing, communications, brand management, destination development, research, innovation, and stakeholder relations.

DMAP Chair James T. Wood says, “By applying for and receiving DMAP accreditation, TOTA has demonstrated a commitment to quality programs and services.  Earning DMAP accreditation tells the region that your DMO has attained a measure of excellence, assuring that their trust is well-placed and their business is in good hands.”

TOTA Board Chair Ingrid Jarrett says she is delighted with the DMAP accreditation.  “This really recognizes the strong commitment to world-class excellence that TOTA has made over the past two years under the leadership of our CEO, Glenn Mandziuk.  Tourism is poised to be the leading economic growth sector in the province, and this recognition of excellence at TOTA will help us to drive economic growth throughout the Thompson Okanagan.”

Mandziuk says, “We have come a long way in the past two years, putting in place all the elements we need in order to operate at the highest level and work with stakeholders and other partners to develop tourism in all parts of our region.”  He adds, “To get this kind of recognition at the international level is not easy.  To have attained it is very exciting and gratifying, and it couldn’t have happened without the tremendous effort made by TOTA’s Board and staff.  We are proud to be operating with the highest standards for tourism organizations, and we want to lead by example and help our stakeholders to benefit from our experience.”

Mandziuk notes that the region’s $1.75-billion tourism industry is ready to move to a higher level of development and marketing in 2012.  A new grassroots Regional Tourism Strategy will be set to launch in the spring.  The region’s tourism marketing will be informed by the latest global research on travellers’ preferences, through TOTA’s participation in the Canadian Tourism Commission’s ‘Explorer Quotient®’ program.  And TOTA will co-ordinate powerful marketing tools for the region – including new seasonal tourism campaigns and a mobile vacation guide.

TOTA represents more than 3,200 tourism stakeholder businesses and organizations throughout the Thompson Okanagan including hotels, resorts, wineries, ski resorts, golf courses, restaurants, and economic development agencies.  The large region includes the areas of North Thompson, South Thompson, Gold Country, Shuswap, Nicola Valley, Similkameen, North Okanagan, Central Okanagan, South Okanagan and Boundary.  Communities include Valemount, Clearwater, Cache Creek, Merritt, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Vernon, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, Princeton, Keremeos, Oliver, Osoyoos, and Grand Forks.

DMAP is an independent international accreditation body and a leader in defining quality and performance issues in destination marketing.  For additional information on DMAP visit www.destinationmarketing.org.