Victoria is a Biosphere Destination


Victoria, British Columbia has earned the prestigious distinction of becoming the first urban destination in the United States or Canada to earn biosphere certification.

The biosphere certification by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI) recognizes destinations for their commitment to principles of environmental sustainability, cultural diversity, and social responsibility.

The value of certification is tremendous as travellers and meeting planners are increasingly considering factors like local quality of life, environmental impacts, and how a destination, its DMO and its tourism sector affects and serves local communities, when making decisions about where to travel or locate a conference.

Greater Victoria’s certification is based on a rigorous and collaborative assessment of Destination Greater Victoria and the region in relation to the United Nations’ SDGs and the development and external audit of an action plan outlining how sustainability best practices can continue to be fostered, implemented, monitored and improved within DGV and among its membership.

“As an organization that represents Greater Victoria on the world stage and has a mandate to support and grow its visitor economy, the ultimate goal of everything we do is to serve local residents and contribute positively to their quality of life. While Biosphere certification will provide long-term economic benefits to Greater Victoria, just as importantly it provides a platform and action plan for us and our members to continue improving our sustainability practices and maximizing the positive contributions we make every day as community partners,” said said Paul Nursey, CEO, DGV.

In 2021, DGV was certified by Ostrom Climate as the first major destination organization in North America to be Carbon Neutral, and in 2022, the first to be Climate Positive. DGV continues to reduce its carbon footprint and implement sustainability best practices through its collaboration with Synergy Enterprises, a noted corporate sustainability management firm.

Worldwide, only 45 destinations and their DMOs have earned Biosphere certification, including, in Canada, DGV for Greater Victoria, the Northern BC Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, and Tourism Vancouver Island.


Venue & Supplier Profiles