Adapting to New Tourism Ecosystems

The shift from a Management Organisation to a Social Enterprise was a successful transformation.

Anthony Everett starts by explaining the transformation that led to 4VI, formerly Tourism Vancouver Island. This a not-for-profit enterprise that works with major tourism clients.

Anthony Everett starts by explaining the transformation that led to 4VI, formerly Tourism Vancouver Island. This a not-for-profit enterprise that works with major tourism clients, such as Destination British Columbia.

This shift happened when the organisation was trying to adapt to climate change issues, to sustainability. They wanted to find the best way to protect the environment and communities and involve residents in the conversation.

The transformation from a Management Organisation to a Social Enterprise was a successful progression focused on:

  1. Social Responsibility
  2. Destination Management
  3. Destination Marketing


They see their role as focusing on social value. As a business, they see "travel as a force for good, for Vancouver Island and forever".

Social Responsibility


4VI Pillars of Social Responsibility - where the investments will go to.

  • Communities
  • Culture
  • Environment
  • Business


Changing the status quo was hard to start doing but there's a profound belief that following the model witnessed elsewhere, with the likes of Patagonia for example, is a really important part of where we need to head as an industry.


What's the progress achieved to date? As of 2022, the Vancouver Island Region is a Biosphere Certified Destination. This has been catalytic in getting businesses to start their own Biosphere certification process, where as a community there is now a process of destination-wide change starting to take place.


They've started to measure their carbon footprint across Vancouver Island, where they'll be launching a plan in January setting out how they're changing over time to meet their targets by 2050, part of their commitment to signing the Glasgow Declaration.


Multi-year partnerships are key to seeking investment, measuring impact and funding new activities which can be reinvested back into the destination.


For Anthony, adapting to balance is about first establishing a great place to live, recognising that this is fundamental to making a great place to visit - how to find that balance is key.


Measurement is going to be key to demonstrating impact. This means measuring in other ways that reflect the well-being of the environment, culture and communities. Looking at for example the number of women.


The future is about what we can do individually and as an organisation - we need to change to make an impact.

The organisation invested significantly in people because this change has pushed for different skills - sustainability and entrepreneurship, for instance.

Anthony then explored and shared a few examples of 4VI private-sector work:

  1. A brand strategy for a private sector client in the Iron industry, and tools how to measure (sustainability plan).
  2. Governance project in local communities.
  3. Marine operators from whale watchers to fishing boats, help them to create a carbon audit and find funding sources.


The 4VI Board wanted destination development planning, industry development but also content, social media and support international efforts through trade and efforts.

Community businesses want and need them to be leading on the local pressing needs - climate, and sustainability. Destination BC has been a true partner - they became the most important client, they plan together, they work together and their funding allows their work - to engage on the things that are important.

Key Takeaways

  • Organisations need to be agile to adapt to the environment.

  • Multi-year partnerships are key to seeking investment and measuring impact.

  • The future is about what we can do individually and as an organisation - we need to change to make an impact.
Published on:
December 2022
About the contributor

Anthony Everett

4VI