Tourism Oxford has received a rare gold-level designation from Green Tourism, the first Canadian tourism department to ever be granted such an honour.
“We were absolutely thrilled to get the gold-level certification,” said Oxford County tourism specialist Meredith Maywood. “We are honoured and pleased to be the first one to reach that level. We look forward to come up with more ways to move forward on sustainability.”
Maywood said the designation is important considering Oxford’s County sustainability targets.
“It’s also important for consumers who support businesses that are doing sustainability activities,” she said. “They are more likely to visit destinations that are practicing things important to them.”
Green Tourism awarded the designation to Tourism Oxford for implementing greener practices, including promoting local food, culture and natural areas, while reducing waste and encouraging active transportation.
Maywood said her department used electronic agendas, reusable dishes and offers tap water to visitors instead of water bottles.
Their visitor’s guide was also printed with vegetable based ink on a sustainable source of paper known as FSC paper.
To mark the occasion Tourism Oxford has launched a new web page highlighting green trip planning tools, local adventures and local food destinations.
The site also offers tips and suggestions for eco-friendly itineraries like 14 Canadian flavours and how to find them in Oxford, and Get Mooo-ving: scenic country roads and terrific trails makes Canada’s Dairy Capital a sure bet for cycling.
The Green Tourism certification program began in the UK in 1997 as a way to assist tourism operators to improve sustainability.
To qualify for the certification Tourism Oxford was assessed by an independent sustainability expert.
More than 2,300 tourism and hospitality businesses around the world have been awarded the designation.
Visit their new web page at www.tourismoxford.ca/greentourism.