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Just wanted to share news of TripAdvisors New Green Leaders program.

GreenLeader hotels and B&Bs apply to be included in the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Programme. If accepted, GreenLeaders achieve one of four statuses: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The higher the status, the greater the impact of a property’s green practices.

If there is anything we can do to grow sustainable tourism it’s promoting organizations that follow best practices.

There are two ways tourism businesses can be recognized for green practices – certification and award recognition. TripAdvisor is already the worlds most popular website for travel is well positioned to both certify and recognize green leaders.

I have long been an advocate for sustainable tourism awards as opposed to certification because of the cost of assuring certification compliance is usually put on operators making most certification systems really expensive.  Certifying bodies require significant infrastructure and staffing costs as well.  Most certification systems provide financial rewards to consultants at the expense of tourism operators.

Many certifying agencies exist such as Green Key, Green Globe and others. The International Ecotourism Society has a helpful sustainable tourism certification and standards resource addressing a number of issues related to certication.

TripAdvisor’s program is innovative in that the tourism operator can complete a complete a comprehensive survey-based tool that results in recognition for accommodators with green practices. TripAdvisor assigns accommodators a certification level based on their sustainable practices reported.

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 1.04.21 PMNorthern Edge Algonquin, our Algonquin Park nature retreat recently completed the application process and achieved a Platinum Level recognition which is really nice. It took just two weeks from filling out the survey to having the Green Leaders icon added to our TripAdvisor listing.  By adding the Green Leader Badge to accommodation listing, travelers are assured the operator is following best practices in sustainable tourism.

The Green Leader Application / Survey is a really nice comprehensive checklist of things for accommodators to consider – even if they don’t yet qualify for a green rating. Just completing the survey is a great way for accommodations to learn about best practices in sustainable tourism. Most importantly, the program is free!

TripAdvisor’s Green Leaders program avoids the costs normally associated with certification compliance because in TripAdvisor’s ecosystem, the guest review system is the quality assurance system.  It costs TripAdvisor little to ensure compliance.  TripAdvisor members assure operators deliver the quality services they promise. Certification of an operators green practices is ensured because in essence any guest could report an operator’s practices if they didn’t comply with the standards of green leadership.

TripAdvisor’s Green Leaders program seems to do both provide recognition (award in the form of a badge linking to green practices) and certification (crowd-sourcing compliance with guest reviews). The Green Leaders program recognizes leaders while crowd-sourcing the sometimes expensive certification process, replacing it with member reviews.

Kudos TripAdvisor!

Learn more or apply to be a TripAdvisor Green Leader:


Passionate People!

by Nancy Arsenault on November 27, 2014

WOW – nothing gets me more jazzed than working with passionate people! Their energy, desire for positive change, willingness to ‘dare to be different’, take ‘bold niche steps’. It’s the food that feeds amazing tourism development and is infectious! Just from the worlds I’m connected with at this  moment, I see the buzz and enthusiasm in people in BC, AB, SK, ON, NS, NL … from the provincial leads, to regional tourism organizations, destination management organizations, to individual businesses.

Canada is an amazing country and together we can crack the nut and inspire visitation that takes us from of being on the dream list to guests dreaming about their travels in Canada.


Where’s Todd? At the Edge, again.

November 23, 2014

Explorer’s Edge Best Practice Mission Sustainable Tourism: Culinary • Cultural • Experiential • Nature This past week I was very pleased to welcome Atlantic Canada tourism allies to my Algonquin Park home, Northern Edge Algonquin in the ‘Explorer’s Edge’ region of Ontario.  The purpose of this mission was to showcase a range of tourism experiences […]

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NOTO’s Bear Pit Session

November 19, 2014

Surrounded by 300 tourism businesses (lots of outfitters), and industry supporters, the Nature Outdoor Tourism Organization opened the floor at their industry conference to ask ‘what’s holding you back’.  Here were the highlights of issues raised We need more like minded people working together because sometimes we are our own worst enemy! Government interventions – […]

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Destination BC is revitalizing the Super, Natural British Columbia tourism brand

November 17, 2014

After speaking 10,000 consumers in key markets, 115 Visitor Centre representatives, 350 industry stakeholders at regional meetings, 600 stakeholders via an online survey and consultation with key industry partners, like the Canadian Tourism Commission – BC’s brand personality will be positioned as “WILD AT HEART” and the tagline  “Super, Natural British Columbia” will stay.  After 30 […]

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British Columbia joins the Explorer Quotient (EQ) Family in Canada

November 14, 2014

Tourism destinations and operators around the province of British Columbia can rejoice and join their colleagues in the Yukon, Alberta, Manitoba, and New Brunswick in aligning with the Canadian Tourism Commission’s powerful Explorer Quotient research to drive tourism into the future. Destination BC announced, as part of their roll out of the new brand strategy, that they will […]

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You gotta love the initiative!

October 17, 2014

I got a chuckle today on my groupon account when the new retail product to take a selfie is now available to purchase. Being inept at taking a good picture – perhaps this would help, maybe it’s just another item in my over crowded backpack and ‘formalizes’ something that is an impromptu act. What I […]

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David Goldstein Appointed as CEO of the CTC

October 16, 2014

Congratulations to David Goldstein as the new CEO for the Canadian Tourism Commission. The press release out today takes the suspense out of the industry wondering who will replace Michelle McKenzie who retired from her position in December 2013.  With the new Gateway to Growth 2014 document also just released, the report speaks to the value […]

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Happy Thanksgiving

October 10, 2014

It’s that time of year when we stop to be thankful for all the things in our life, our business, and our community that enriches us and brings happiness, and pleasure into our lives.   Thanks to all of you out there who follow our blog, the many who send me personal notes/questions to my email […]

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Alberta’s Experiential Travel Training with an Incentive

September 8, 2014

As part of their continued, strategic growth that began with the brand, then engaging travellers with identifying their ‘Goose Bump Moments’, and ensuring industry had access to the leading edge Explorer Quotient research from the Canadian Tourism Commission, Travel Alberta is now working in partnership to stimulate product development. In an announcement today, the VP for […]

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