What do you think about pledging to protect the values of the Thompson Okanagan? - InfoNews

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What do you think about pledging to protect the values of the Thompson Okanagan?

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August 16, 2019 - 7:00 PM

Sussing out the values of Okanagan residents and getting visitors to the region to sign on to protect them is a project in the works.

“As we continue to work towards sustainable tourism, we would like to generate a pledge that visitors will read before coming to our region,” reads a Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association online promotion for the pledge.

“However, we want to ensure this pledge reflects the values of all residents.”

Ellen Walker-Matthews, an association vice-president, laughed when it was suggested by iNFOnews.ca that traffic might be stopped on roads leading into the region in order to get tourists to sign.

The idea is to promote the pledge at businesses and tourist information sites, she said.

While some countries requrie that pledges be signed before entering, this is strictly voluntary for tourists, and resiidents will be encouraged to join in.

"One of our goals overall is, it's a wonderful place to come to in the summer, sort of that summer sand and fun experience, but there's so much more to this region and that's what people are starting to discover as they spend more time here," Walker-Matthews said. "It's got a great story that isn't always known or told. So, encouraging visitors to go in deeper, to undersand what is here, to understand the people, to understand the history and then to respect it as they travel around the region."

The deadline for filling out the survey was originally Aug. 15 but is now set for midnight, Aug. 20.

The survey can be taken here.

It asks questions about things like congestion, respecting wildlife and indigenous cultures and how important it is to minimize environmental footprints.

The hope is to have the pledge in place in time for the International Indigenous Tourism Conference that the association is hosting in mid-November.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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