Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
Who We Are
The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is an industry-led organization that represents and supports all business and community tourism interests throughout the Thompson Okanagan. We are guided by our Regional Tourism Strategy, Embracing Our Potential. Committed to fostering a region of remarkable experiences, our goals reflect both the strategic direction of Destination British Columbia and the needs and priorities of the Thompson Okanagan.
TOTA provides destination development, marketing, industry and experience development, and research services.
We are committed to creating a strong and healthy tourism economy whilst minimizing the impact on our natural and cultural resources by promoting sustainable business practices and responsible travel.
Why We Are Involved
TOTA is committed to becoming a world-renowned accessible destination and the goal is to promote “Access & Inclusion” in all aspects of community and tourism experiences, products and services in the Thompson Okanagan region.
Experiences that are inclusive and accessible provides equal opportunity and participation for everyone – regardless of age, ability, size, gender, or culture. Living, working, playing, and travelling with and alongside family and friends is an essential piece to everyone’s mental, emotional, and physical well being. Travelling together nurtures a sense of belonging and understanding for everyone involved.
In line with and inspired by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and with a focus on Goal #9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Goal #10 – Reduced Inequalities, and Goal #11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities, TOTA has embarked on the journey of making this beautiful region more accessible to all people.
TOTA’s Regional Accessibility Specialist with three Paralympic gold medals, Sonja Gaudet is the world’s most decorated wheelchair curler and is eager to spark the conversation around accessible tourism. She works to increase awareness and provides consultations to enhance accessible travel and tourism services, products, and experiences in the Thompson Okanagan region.
Our Current Initiatives:
- Accessible site visit consultations,
- Researching accessible travel best practices,
- Identifying existing accessible experiences, services and products in our region,
- Assisting in creating accessible content,
- Accessible and inclusive experience blogs on our consumer website ThompsonOkanagan.com,
- Building partnerships with outdoor adaptive adventure organizations,
- Building partnerships with accessible tour operators and providers,
- Form an “Accessible Experiences” Task Force group.
Our Upcoming Initiatives :
- Continue building partnerships with existing support agencies,
- Support Biosphere Commitment stakeholders in creating accessible experiences,
- Influence the accessibility on Rail Trails throughout our region,
- Map accessible products & experiences in our region through the AccessNow platform.