Destination Vancouver champions social procurement in tourism, hospitality and events

Apr 3rd, 2023

Image courtesy of Destination Vancouver/Rishad Daroowala

The tourism industry is taking a leadership role in advancing social procurement to create heathy, vibrant communities. One organization within the sector championing this movement is Destination Vancouver, a Buy Social Canada Social Purchasing Partner and Vancouver’s destination management organization. Their members include hotels, restaurants, event venues and attractions throughout the City of Vancouver.

In 2021, Destination Vancouver developed an internal social procurement policy and framework. Staff have been trained on social procurement since Spring 2022, and they are now looking to put together an internal working group to implement social procurement with their teams in the future.

In addition to their internal commitment, Destination Vancouver wants to be a role-model and educator for the industry. They are acting as a liaison for their members and sharing resources and stories to increase the positive impacts of tourism in their local community. To start this process, Destination Vancouver contracted Buy Social Canada to conduct a survey of members and share the key takeaways. In addition to getting a sense of what members already knew or were doing to implement social procurement, the survey results also gave Destination Vancouver more information to be able to communicate the social value outcomes generated by their members. Many members are small and medium-sized local businesses, who want to make sure their business activities impact the community for the better.

You can read the report of those survey findings here:

Or watch this Destination Vancouver member webinar to learn more:

Now in 2023, Buy Social Canada continues to collaborate with Destination Vancouver on forward thinking work in the sector, creating a Guide to Social Procurement for Tourism, Hospitality and Events that will share best practices, key considerations, and case studies as an open-source resource for the sector.

A growing force for change

Outside of Vancouver, the movement to use tourism for good is gathering momentum. 4VI, formerly Tourism Vancouver Island, made headlines in 2022 when they announced they were “transitioning from a destination management organization (a traditional business model in the tourism industry) to a social enterprise called 4VI, a business created to ensure that travel is a force for good for Vancouver Island – forever.”

Explore Edmonton, Edmonton’s destination marketing and management organization and operator of the Edmonton Expo Centre, Edmonton Conference Centre and K-Days, made a commitment this year to develop and implement a social procurement philosophy. As a Buy Social Canada Social Purchasing Partner, we will work with Explore Edmonton to develop a procurement philosophy that brings social and community value to complement their existing environmental leadership.

As more key players in the sector champion the movement to create healthy, vibrant communities through buying and selling with impact, we’re excited to see the transformative outcomes the tourism sector will create.

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