Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism marked Earth Day 2022 (April 22, 2022) by taking a further step in enhancing sustainability in the local tourism sector with the launch of an industry-led committee focused on sustainability.
The committee builds on the announcement that the region had become North America’s second Biosphere Certified Destination.
Sustainable Tourism Advisory Committee Members
Jonny Bierman Eco Escape Travel
Jonny is the founder of values-based destination marketing firm Eco Escape Travel and a sustainable travel journalist, content creator, and photographer. Jonny uses his purpose-driven travel journalism to explain the importance of sustainability, Indigenous tourism, regenerative travel, and tourism’s important connection to stewardship and conservation. He is published in AFAR Media, Conde Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s Travel, Matador Network, Readers Digest, and GoPro.
Josie Dix of Bella Coola Heli Sports and Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
Josie had been focused on leading the conversation on sustainability throughout her career, from her time at Whistler Blackcomb to her current role at Bella Coola Heli Sports. Josie is studying part time for her advanced diploma in Sustainable Business Leadership at BCIT. She is excited to be a part of this industry steering committee, as well as working to make Bella Coola Heli Sports a model for sustainable and responsible travel.
Julie Gilmore of the South Cariboo Visitor Centre
Julie worked on a wide range of sustainable tourism projects on behalf of the 100 Mile Development Corporation. The Catalyst Project, The Gold Rush Trail, and local Mountain Bike Trails have all shown the importance of incorporating sustainability into efforts to grow tourism and local visitor attractions.
Amber Gregg of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society
Amber knows that value of sustainability and she helps share that through the many programs offered by CCCS. Since 1996 the organization has been offering sustainable life education that includes field trips for local students, a conservation park guide, and community outreach.
Tim Milne of Ridelounge Productions
Tim brings together tourism, television, and sports experience. In two decades of television production, Milne hosted and produced 15 years of World Cup Snowboard and Mountain Bike, various backcountry snowboard productions, and Big Coast Television Series. For the past 15 years he worked in the Great Bear Rainforest and has been CCCTA’s director of the Great Bear Project for seven years.
Melissa Normandin – Central Cariboo Arts + Culture Society (CCACS)
A transplant from the prairies of Saskatchewan, Melissa arrived in Williams Lake in 2016, and began working for the Williams Lake Stampede Association. Melissa participates as a Board Member with the Station House Gallery and is a member of the Cariboo Potters’ Guild. She is currently the Executive Director at the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society and enjoys gardening, beekeeping, and the natural beauty of the Cariboo Chilcotin.
Melissa believes that the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast has the chance to be a leader on sustainability in the tourism sector and in our communities and embraces the work and mission of the Sustainable Tourism Advisory Committee with the CCCTA.
Bridget brings 25 years as a former tourism business owner and adventure guide along with a Master’s degree with a specialization in sustainability. She’s working to implement sustainable development goals at Spirit Bear Lodge as part of her career-long passion for protecting the environment by sharing its importance with people who care.
Camille Sangarapillai – Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Camille works on programs aimed at protecting the landscape and communities of the land without limits from the impacts of invasive species. These efforts also help protect the tourism sector that depends on sustainable environment to be enjoyed by visitors.
John Walker, RFP, of the Williams Lake First Nation
As the Stewardship Forester for the Williams Lake First Nation, John sees that value of ecosystem-based management. The approach will benefit the Nation the surrounding community and enhance tourism for the region. A number of projects John has under way compliment the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
Rehan Siddiqui – Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism and Chair of the committee
Rehan has a MA in Tourism Management from Royal Roads University, Canada with 14 years of strategic global expertise in the tourism industry through collaborating with innovative strategies and a wider network of scope of tourism development. A conscious traveler who loves to connect with the people, explore local traditions, and an environmentalist, he has travelled around the world for business and R&R. Most notably he has travelled to China ,Canada, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Macau, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, Thailand, U.A.E. During his free time he loves to do research, bike and explore new destinations.
Marshall Fremlin – Vice Chair, Board Liaison
As an owner and GM at Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort, Marshall is extremely passionate about experiential travel and hospitality. He brings grass-roots knowledge and a wealth of operational experience derived from 15 years in the industry, where he has worked almost every role available in a wilderness resort setting.
His boots on the ground expertise is complimented by an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for leading teams, honed through a BCOMM from UBC’s Sauder School of Business, where he graduated with Honors. Lastly, having grown up on the land, he is deeply passionate about sustainability, stewardship, and protecting the natural resources that Canada’s tourism industry relies on.