This fall the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association on behalf of the Thompson Okanagan Region had the honour of being invited to attend the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) 23rd General Assembly in St Petersburg, Russia.

Left, Dirk Glaesser – UNWTO – Director- Sustainable Development of Tourism, Glenn Mandziuk – TOTA – President and CEO and Beka Jakeli – UNWTO – Coordinator Member

Representatives from more than 150 countries took part in these meetings, which focused on sustainable, responsible tourism development and delivery, considered to be fundamental to the well-being of the tourism industry for the long term. Best practices, challenges, issues, concerns, and debate provided attendees with tremendous learning, and clearer approaches to forward-thinking in the managing of tourism assets.


The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association was also recognized at the UNWTO Awards Gala as one of three finalists, among an original field of over 190 applicants worldwide, for the work that is currently being done in this critical area of sustainable responsible tourism.

Most recently the Thompson Okanagan was selected as the 27th location worldwide to take part in the International Network of Sustainable Observatories (INSTO). This UNWTO program measures the results of sustainable practices taking place within the selected observatory locations, shares findings among the participating locations and provides insights that ensure the initiatives being undertaken are making a difference 

There will be a lot to share in the days and weeks ahead to come from these meetings and we will be posting relevant information to the website and News Centre so be sure to connect with us there for links and uploads.

Glenn Mandziuk is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Region. He can be reached at