(July 9, 2020): The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is working in partnership with FortisBC, GreenStep Solutions, and the BC Hotel Association to reduce costs for tourism businesses and aid economic recovery within the Thompson Okanagan region. The overarching goal of our partnership is to support regional tourism businesses by identifying operational inefficiencies, providing tools to address them, and ultimately reducing utility bills. As our industry continues to show incredible resiliency, this program is providing timely support to reduce costs and build a foundation for future utility savings and resource conservation.
A dedicated Energy Analyst, employed by TOTA and funded through FortisBC, will act as a technical resource and energy advocate for tourism stakeholders. The Energy Analyst will work closely with TOTA’s Destination Stewardship Team and GreenStep’s Business Advisors to implement the Eco Efficiency Program, which will include an onsite assessment and analysis of utility bill data. The Eco Efficiency Program will provide businesses with a detailed understanding of utility usage patterns and equipment performance and includes:
- Energy consumption analysis, reporting and rebate opportunities;
- Water consumption analysis and reporting;
- Waste analysis and reporting, and;
- Carbon software training and access to a carbon measurement platform to effectively measure your organization’s carbon footprint.
“The business case for sustainability has never been more important. The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit as a result of COVID-19, and experts agree that a green economic recovery will help businesses to save money while also meeting important environmental goals,” said Angela Nagy, CEO of GreenStep Solutions. “We are thrilled to be partnering on this exciting initiative to help businesses identify opportunities to reduce both their costs and their eco footprint.”\
“We are proud to help Okanagan tourism businesses reach their energy efficiency goals affordably by lower operating costs,” commented Colin Norman, Manager, Conservation and Energy Management Portfolio and Marketing Strategies at FortisBC. “This is one of the ways we’re demonstrating that, by working together, we can find ways to meet the province’s climate action goals.”
As a Regional Destination Management Organization, TOTA has committed to long term responsible tourism management as a Biosphere Certified Gold Destination and also the measurement of sustainable practices through the International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO).
Biosphere Committed companies who are interested in the full Eco Efficiency assessment will receive priority in the first phase of the program. Businesses that are not interested to join the Biosphere Commitment Program at this time and are only seeking an energy assessment can express their interest for a virtual energy-only assessment delivered by TOTA’s Energy Analyst. They will receive a detailed analysis of energy utility data benchmarking against similar properties in Canada, a report summarizing cost saving opportunities, and energy efficiency measures with a list of rebates and incentives available.
The BC Hotel Association is also offering the services of their dedicated Energy Analyst to conduct energy-only assessments for their members.
Through this partnership, regional tourism utility consumption data will also be collected and aggregated to share with the expanded monitoring programs TOTA has committed to, including the Biosphere Destination Gold Certification, the Biosphere Commitment Program, and our newly formed partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organization as a Sustainable Tourism Observatory. This data will assist in achieving TOTA’s goal of developing financial and environmental sustainability for the regional tourism industry.
To get started with the Eco Efficiency Assessment:
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About the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA):
The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is a non-profit society, governed by an elected Board of Directors, which represents business and community tourism interests throughout the region, and is supported by the British Columbia Ministry of Tourism, Arts, & Culture. It is an industry-led organization that represents and supports all business and community tourism interests in the region, while also helping to implement provincial tourism policies. For more information, visit
About the BC Hotel Association:
The British Columbia Hotel Association is a non-profit organization that works on behalf of hoteliers at federal, provincial, and community levels, and champions issues such as taxation, tourism, marketing, corporate relations, labour, and consumer services. The BCHA has over 600 hotel members and 120 associate members, representing an industry made up of over 80,000 rooms and more than 60,000 employees. For more information, visit
FortisBC Energy Inc. is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC Energy Inc. employs more than 1,800 British Columbians and serves approximately 1,008,400 customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC Energy Inc. owns and operates approximately 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information visit
GreenStep was founded in 2008 to help small to medium sized enterprises reduce their environmental impacts and create a sustainability strategy for the future. To date, the organization has helped over 1600 businesses and organizations within several sectors, including private, public, non-profit and academic institutions; in a variety of industries such as tourism and hospitality, retail, professional services and manufacturing; and with organizations of all sizes, from those with less than 5 employees to those with more than 2,000. For more information, visit
Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
Vice President, Market Stewardship
Communications for BC Hotel Association
Corporate Communications Advisor