Update: As of April 22, 2019, Green Tourism Canada is now Sustainable Tourism.
At Green Tourism Canada, we love showing people that sustainability doesn’t have to trade off with comfort or service, so we’re pumped to tell the world about Tour Salt Spring and how they are on the cutting edge of sustainable business and tourism innovation!
Tour Salt Spring was recently upgraded to Green Tourism Gold Certification in recognition of their dedication to sustainability! Since 2015, they have reduced their fossil fuel use by 86%, with a 76% increase in business revenues! They achieved these impressive results mainly though the following actions:
- Purchasing a carbon-neutral tour vehicle that is “100% Veggie Powered”, aka powered by waste cooking oil, in addition to their first tour vehicle, which is a larger hybrid-electric van.
- Partnering with local restaurants to source the oil, which also reduces the amount of waste the restaurants are producing, and ensures a very local (and thus low-emissions) source of oil – a mutually beneficial relationship!
- Investing in the installation of a new solar array, which has the following benefits:
- Offsets 100% of their office/home electricity use
- Allows them to offer “Sunshine-Powered Tours” through the ability to plug their hybrid-electric van directly into their own micro-grid!
- Redesigning their tours to do more sightseeing with fewer kilometres driven, which allows them to do an entire tour on a single charge of the hybrid-electric van, and has resulted in a 27% jump in revenue with only a 14% increase in distance driven!
“[These actions have] not negatively affected our product – we have been awarded the TripAdvisor certificate of excellence for both 2016 and 2017. Our guests appreciate the ‘greenness’ of our operation!” – Jason Griffin, Tour Salt Spring
Tour Salt Spring operates on Salt Spring Island, the largest of the Gulf Islands just off the shores of Vancouver Island. The island has a wealth of experiences to offer visitors, and Tour Salt Spring is passionate about sharing what they love about their home, such as the farm-fresh organic food grown on numerous local farms, creative tight-knit community, lush forests, and beautiful coastline.
We love seeing and hearing about the ingenious ways that Green Tourism members such as Tour Salt Spring are cutting back on their impacts and growing their businesses, all while providing their guests and clients an unrivalled experience. Next time you’re on Salt Spring Island, go ahead and take a sunshine or veggie-powered tour in one of their Green Machine(s)!
Check them (and their cool vans) out here: https://toursaltspring.com/sustainability/