Thompson Rivers University and the Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) have partnered with Planet Happiness to distribute a survey measuring the well-being of communities.
The Happiness Index survey includes questions on people’s satisfaction with life, access to nature and art, community engagement, standard of living, life-long learning and health.
Findings from the survey are to help TOTA assess how the Thompson-Okanagan region is meeting the United Nations sustainable development goals, as well as inform its ongoing efforts toward tourism recovery and resiliency.
"The long-term viability of destinations depends on tourism improving the quality of life of local communities,” TOTA president Glenn Mandziuk said. “Over time, the Happiness Index will help measure how well this is being done by engaging with residents directly.”
TRU tourism faculty member Dr. John Hull will assist with the project, which is the first partnership for Planet Happiness in Canada.
Use of the Happiness Index survey is meant to demonstrate that measuring the well-being and happiness of tourist destinations and happiness is as important as tracking profits and visitor arrivals and supports responsible destination management.
The Thompson-Okanagan region includes Mount Robson Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. "Planet Happiness will support TRU and TOTA by deploying what is perhaps the most progressive, adaptable and easy to use Happiness Index survey on the planet," Planet Happiness co-founder Laura Musikanski said.
Planet Happiness is a grassroots, big data project to introduce happiness and well-being science, policy and practice to local communities, governments, and businesses connected to the travel and tourism industry.
Visit TOTABC.org/happiness-index to learn more and stay updated on the launch of the first Thompson-Okanagan Happiness Index Survey.