Tourism association accepting award nominations

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is accepting nominations from organizations from across the region for the 2011 Tourism Excellence Awards.

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is accepting nominations from organizations from across the region for the 2011 Tourism Excellence Awards.

The event will be part of the third annual Thompson Okanagan Tourism Industry Summit, Nov. 2-4 at Sun Peaks Resort, near Kamloops.

The program provides an opportunity to showcase innovation and excellence within the tourism industry. Awards will be presented in six categories:

Employer Of The Year – Through the implementation of excellent human resources practices this business or organization has attracted, trained and retained staff and has produced high levels of customer satisfaction.

Environmental Responsibility – Through environmental programs and practices this business or organization has engaged its staff, guests and the community in reducing its carbon footprint.

Technology and Innovation – Through the innovative use of technology, this business or organization has improved its operations, employee procedures and/or guest experiences.

Community Sport Tourism – This business or organization has demonstrated a community partnership between sport and tourism which has resulted in increased tourism revenues.

Tourism Marketing – There will be two awards for this category (less than $15,000 and more than $15,000). This business or organization has implemented a creative, comprehensive and innovative marketing program which has resulted in increased tourism revenues.

Social Media Initiative – This business or organization has implemented an outstanding social media marketing campaign or initiative.

Any of the more than 3,200 tourism-related businesses and organizations operating in the Thompson Okanagan region are eligible to be nominated for these awards. This includes community tourism organizations, private businesses, non-profit organizations and businesses, as well as product-based alliances. All nominations must relate to initiatives, campaigns or programs which have been started or operated sometime during the 16-month period July 1, 2010 to Oct. 31, 2011.

All TOTA stakeholders are invited to nominate a business or organization for these awards. Eligible tourism-related organizations and businesses may also nominate themselves.

Nominations must be received by TOTA by Friday, Oct. 14. For more information on the summit, and to download a nomination form, visit www.carbondigital.ca/totaSummit.

“Our region has hundreds of amazing, world-class tourism destinations and attractions working hard every day to implement the industry’s best practices and attract increasing numbers of international and domestic travellers,” said Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA CEO. “We are pleased to recognize the innovation and excellence of our tourism industry through this annual awards program.”

The awards will be presented during the Nov. 3 gala banquet at the tourism summit, and TOTA will also publicize the winners through its own publications and media announcements.