August 22, 2017
Oxford County is green tourism certified
This is the first gold-level certification granted to a tourism office in Canada
For Tourism Oxford, going green is pure gold! In keeping with Oxford County’s commitment to sustainability, Tourism Oxford has taken steps to implement greener practices, including promoting local food, culture and natural areas, reducing waste and encouraging active transporation. These efforts have earned Tourism Oxford a gold designation from Green Tourism for demonstrating a commitment to environmental preservation and sustainability.
The Green Tourism certification program began in the UK in 1997 as a way to help tourism operators improve sustainability. Since then, more than 2,300 tourism and hospitality businesses around the world have been recognized by Green Tourism, and Oxford County’s is the first gold-level certificate granted to a tourism office in Canada.
To celebrate, Tourism Oxford has launched a new web page, which highlights green trip planning tools, car-free adventures, and local food destinations. The site offers visitors helpful tips and suggestions for eco-friendly itineraries, like 14 Canadian flavours and where to find them in Oxford, and Get mooo-ving: scenic country roads and terrific trails make Canada’s Dairy Capital a sure bet for cycling.
To qualify for the certification, Tourism Oxford was assessed by an independent sustainability expert, who evaluates each applicant based on environmental management standards (ISO-14001). Green Tourism Canada is validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT).
Explore ways to be a green visitor in Oxford County at www.tourismoxford.ca/greentourism.
Meredith Maywood, Tourism Specialist, Oxford County
“People want to visit destinations that support their values. Therefore, Tourism Oxford is pleased to announce that it is now part of Green Tourism Canada's certification program - and we received a gold rating. We have already had positive comments from the travel industry about our participation in this program. If you would like more information about how your company can get certified visit the Green Tourism Canada website.”
Angela Nagy, CEO, GreenStep Solutions & Green Tourism Canada
“Green Tourism Canada has been working with destination marketing organizations (DMOs), across the nation to help them assess their sustainability performance and take a leadership role in promoting green businesses practices to their tourism stakeholders. We are very pleased to congratulate Tourism Oxford for being the first DMO in Canada to achieve a Gold Award. Working within Oxford County's LEED Silver offices and actively participating in their goal to achieve zero waste by 2025, Tourism Oxford has demonstrated an above-average commitment to sustainability. From composting to providing showers and secure bike storage, to local procurement practices, and long-term sustainability goals, they are well-deserving of this award and a shining example for the tourism industry they support.”
Carol Greenwood, Membership & Business Development, Travel Industry Association Ontario
“Congratulations to Oxford County on achieving a Green Tourism Certification! Sustainable tourism is increasingly important for the tourism industry: 76 per cent of surveyed travellers sometimes or always consider a company’s green program when deciding to purchase tourism products. In earning this designation, Oxford County exemplifies leadership and dedication to providing sustainable experiences for visitors.”
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About Tourism Oxford
Located in the heartland of Southwestern Ontario, Oxford County is known for great cycling, slow food, a diverse heritage and its commitment 100% renewable energy by 2050. Sample the cheese trail, see how our landscape inspires local artists, and immerse yourself in our rural lifestyle. Just slow down and unplug as you tour Oxford.
Tourism Oxford recognizes Oxford County's strengths are its natural environment, rich agricultural land, heritage and cultural opportunities. Tourism Oxford has therefore embraced Future Oxford’s sustainability commitments to preserve the tourism appeal and assets of Oxford County.
About Oxford County
Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 114,000 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together” through a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government incorporated as the County of Oxford. Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to becoming a zero waste community and achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that serves as a springboard for some of the sustainable industries that are steadily diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.
Donna Kemp | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3158 | firstname.lastname@example.org