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About the Initiative

The Tourism Impact Portal is a result of the ongoing efforts by the participating regions to ensure and foster sustainable tourism development in the province. Understanding the responsibility that tourism holds in safeguarding and strengthening healthy spaces for communities and visitors alike, the participating regions are committed to increase and improve the information landscape by facilitating access for all stakeholders to economic, environmental and social insights and creating more transparency overall.


With the continuously growing tourism numbers of the past decade, as well as the crisis derived from COVID-19, the tourism industry is now, more than ever before, in need of more precise and timely insights.

At the same time, additional challenges such as the increasingly negative impacts of climate change and other threats to societies and the environment are increasingly impacting destinations, requiring even more reliable data to move away from intuition-based decision making towards more evidence-based decision-making that fosters a healthy and resilient environment for both host and guest.

The purpose of this initiative is to provide tourism stakeholders a one-stop shop for all available data insights that is easily accessible and facilitates understanding of different tourism-related trends and dynamics in the regions. In addition, bringing all available data together in one central place will allow tourism operators and those responsible for planning and development to identify research gaps, better articulate data needs and make more powerful and responsible data-driven decisions that are key for a sustainable future of the province and its regions.

Why a central data portal?

Tourism destinations around the world are moving away from primarily marketing-driven tourism development towards more management-oriented approaches, where the measures of success are more and more related to the net benefits for local communities instead of predominantly economic key performance indicators such as revenues and volumes of visitor arrivals.

For this shift to occur, reliable and timely data about the economic, environmental, and social impacts of tourism are needed. Due to the unique realities in destinations, as well as the complexity of the tourism value chain with its many different stakeholders and linkages with other sectors, this task presents enormous challenges as information tends to be located in many different organizations and in different formats. Additionally, available data is often not available in a regular and timely manner, gathered with different methodologies and comes from different data sources. As a result, it tends to be enormously difficult for tourism stakeholder to understand what kind of reliable information is available, who is the responsible for the data, what is the quality of information, what are the sharing rights, and what are efficient ways to integrate information in existing processes for decision-making. This scattered landscape makes it extremely difficult to identify data gaps and observe and understand development trends, creating barriers to responsible and sustainable development. This initiative seeks to minimize some of those challenges and support the destination decision-makers along their sustainable tourism journey.

Participating Regions

Cariboo Chilcotin CoastKooteney Rockies TourismNorthern British Columbia TourismThompson Okanagan Tourism AssociationTourism Vancouver Island

Objectives behind the data portal

The Tourism Impact Portal seeks to contribute to an open, data-driven culture within the tourism sector in BC, where businesses and other stakeholders responsible for the planning and development of destinations can use more reliable evidence for their decision-making. Its purpose is to foster a transparent information landscape with a wide variety of data beyond the traditional economic insights, as well as encourage more open data sharing and initiate dialogues about data that empower stakeholders to make decisions for a sustainable future.

In detail, the Impact Portal aims to:

  • Make it easier and faster to find information
  • Provide more information for the regional, destination level
  • Facilitate better understanding of data and complex tourism dynamics
  • Reduce silos between departments/organizations & (sub)sectors
  • Support efforts to reduce data gaps and improve the quality of available data
  • Extend data insights beyond economic information
  • Encourage more regular and continuous data collection
  • Foster more alignment & standardization of data
  • Encourage stakeholders to lean on data
  • Improve the ability to benchmark and analyze data
  • Increase collaboration & commitments to data sharing
  • Foster regular data inquiries & research
  • Improve monitoring and reporting of actions and progress
  • Support stakeholders to prioritize efforts and optimize operations

Who is the portal for?

The Tourism Impact Portal has been designed for all stakeholders in the province that are responsible for, or simply interested in, the development of tourism in the regions. This includes private businesses, government and other public entities, industry associations, educational institutions, local communities, and others.

Data for a sustainable future

For sustainable development, it is important to understand current and past dynamics, as well as processes undertaken so far, in order to set responsible development objectives for the future. By facilitating access to information and improving the availability and quality of information, the tourism stakeholders of the regions also contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals set by the global community such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the climate ambitions of the Paris Agreement.

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