The United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, continues to lead the way in promoting tourism standards. The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) of British Columbia, Canada, has been awarded the UNWTO.QUEST Certification which recognizes Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). The programme emphasizes UNWTO’s commitment to deliver for the sector by encouraging and recognizing excellence in governance and destination management in both Member States and non-Member States.
Aimed at destination management organizations (DMOs) worldwide, the UNWTO.QUEST Certification provides a unique framework for strengthening institutional capacities and benchmarking excellence in three key areas: Strategic Leadership, Effective Execution and Efficient Governance.
TOTA, which represents and supports businesses and community tourism interests across the Thompson Okanagan region, was found to excel in all three. An audit conducted in August and September of 2020, gave the organization a score of 529 out of a possible 531 points. In recognition of the achievement, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili sent a letter of congratulations to TOTA, also a UNWTO Affiliate Member.
Welcoming the news, Glenn Mandziuk, President and CEO of TOTA, said: “On behalf of our entire team at the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and our Board of Directors, we are so honored to receive the UNWTO.QUEST Certification recognizing TOTA as a leading Destination Management Organization in the world. The process involved a rigorous and thorough review of the work of our Association and took place over several months, and I am thrilled we earned such a high score.”
By driving DMOs to improve and recognizing those that are leading the way, the UNWTO.QUEST certification helps to enhance governance and competitiveness across the whole of the tourism sector while also advancing sustainability and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals at destination level.
The UNWTO.QUEST Certification is valid for four years, with possibility of renewal.