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Green Tourism Goldstar Award logoIn Great Company - Canadian Finalist for a Green Tourism Goldstar Award

Finalists revealed for one of the world's top sustainable businesses honour

Courtenay, BC, Nov.6, 2014:  West Coast Expeditions feels in great company with two other British Columbia tour operators who join 54 of the most environmentally sustainable tourism businesses from the UK on the shortlist for one of the industry's most coveted awards – a Green Tourism Goldstar.

Accommodation providers, visitor attractions and events venues across the UK and Canada have been included in this year's Goldstar shortlist which has been whittled down from more than 2,400 eligible entries. All of the contenders are vying for the top accolade in 14 categories, the winners of which will be announced at the Green Tourism Annual conference on November 10 at a special ceremony held in the Palace Hotel, Manchester, England.

Now in its fourth year, the annual awards honour those businesses and organisations that have done the most to promote sustainability within the tourism industry by implementing cost-saving practices that help the environment, improve customer services and benefit the bottom line.

All of the finalists, which include 33 from England, 21 from Scotland, 3 from Canada, 1 from Wales and 1 from Northern Ireland, were chosen from over 2400 green tourism companies assessed for their innovation, cost savings and green ambassadorship.

Dave Pinel, Managing Owner of West Coast Expeditions, is delighted to see the company shortlisted for a Goldstar Award alongside like-minded BC-based marine tour operators, Maple Leaf Adventures and Bluewater Adventures.  Pinel notes that, "we're all connected on the coast: sharing the same waters, exchanging ideas, and introducing guests to inspiring marine experiences, so it's exciting to receive this recognition together with friends that we hold in high regard on Canada's west coast!"

Andrea Nicholas, Director of Green Tourism, said: "The Goldstar Awards are recognition of the best of the best in Britain and Canada when it comes to creating and maintaining a thriving sustainable tourism industry. A total of 59 green tourism businesses from across the UK and Canada have been shortlisted for the Goldstar Awards this year out of more than 2,400 entries. These finalists represent the top 3 per cent of Green Tourism businesses.  The standard has been exceptionally high this year and every one of the shortlisted finalists have shown a dedicated commitment to providing consumers with great service and value for money while at the same time championing the cause of sustainability."

Green Tourism was launched 17 years ago and is now is the biggest of its kind in the world having helped nearly 10,000 businesses improve their commitment to sustainability. It is considered one of the most rigorous of its kind and is the only certification programme independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland.  Across the Atlantic, Green Tourism Canada is gaining momentum assessing and working with Canadian tourism businesses.

The organisation has become a world leader in highlighting the importance of protecting environments, respecting local cultures, supporting communities, conserving natural resources and minimising pollution.

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Congratulations to Bluewater Adventures, announced Nov. 10th as the Canadian Goldstar winner for 2014 - well-earned from years as forerunners in sustainable tourism practices!

David Pinel
West Coast Expeditions
Tel: 1-800-665-3040

About West Coast Expeditions
West Coast Expeditions was established in 1972 and is one of BC and Canada’s first companies to practice ecotourism values - before there was such a label. WCE was the first sea kayaking company in Canada to achieve the Green Tourism Gold Award and was selected by the Canadian Tourism Commission in November 2013 as a ‘Canadian Signature Experience’ for its Sea Otter Kayak Tour. The company is based out of Courtenay, offering 4 to 9 day sea kayaking tours in the Kyuquot/Spring Island area of northwest Vancouver Island. WCE has developed a close relationship with the local Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. The company has been co-owned with a member of the Kyuquot-Checleset First Nation since 2008. West Coast Expeditions is active with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC, Aboriginal Tourism BC, the Wilderness Tourism Association of BC, 1% for the Planet, and is a member of BC Parks’ Volunteer Ecological Reserve Warden program.