Tourism Vancouver claims to have become the first destination marketing organisation (DMO) to appoint a ‘tourism energy specialist’ to help its members go green.
Gwendal Castellan – sponsored by energy consultants BC Hydro - will help hotels, restaurants and attractions achieve greater energy efficiency and implement conservation initiatives.
The new position will help Tourism Vancouver to support the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan and goal to be the world’s “greenest” city by 2020.
A 2011 survey conducted by Capilano University for Tourism Vancouver found that 81 per cent of its member businesses were interested in the services of an energy specialist.
Paul Vallee, Tourism Vancouver’s executive VP, said: “Respect and stewardship of our spectacular natural setting is important to us. Our new tourism energy specialist position helps to ensure we're conscious of our environmental footprint while doing our job to position Vancouver as one of the top destinations worldwide.”
“Conservation and being smart with your power is the most environmentally friendly and least expensive way to meet future demand for electricity,” said Lisa Coltart, executive director Power Smart, BC Hydro. “We expect demand to grow by about 50 per cent over the next 20 years. Energy management is an effective tool to help businesses be more energy-efficient and sustainable.”
Vancouver-based Castellan holds a geography degree from the University of Victoria as well as a certificate in Sustainable Energy Management from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
An avid cyclist, Castellan is the former executive director of the Stanley Park Bike Festival, former vice president of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (now HUB), and produced and directed an award-winning film documenting his journey cycling from Patagonia to the Northwest Territories.
Pictured: Gwendal Castellan