Campus Life - Kamloops  

TRU and Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association sign MOU

A group of people stand on the summit of a mountain.

KAMLOOPS–Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to benefit students in TRU’s tourism management program and support the TRU Tourism Innovation Lab.

The partnership prioritizes collaboration between TRU and TOTA to support students entering the tourism field through learning resources and opportunities, industry mentorship and referrals. TOTA’s support for the TRU Tourism Innovation Lab also fuels business development in the tourism sector.

“I am thrilled to affirm our commitment to fostering the next generation of tourism leaders through our partnership with Thompson Rivers University. Together, we are empowering students with invaluable resources, mentorship and opportunities to innovate within the dynamic tourism sector. This collaboration not only enriches the educational experience but also fuels entrepreneurial spirit, driving forward the future of tourism in our region,” said Ellen Walker Matthews, president and CEO of TOTA.

TRU, in partnership with Tourism Kamloops and the Kamloops Innovation Centre, launched the TRU Tourism Innovation Lab in February 2020. The entrepreneurship program leverages an existing tourism management course at the university and supports students to develop an innovative tourism product through research and industry mentorship.

Students can further develop their business ideas through the Tourism Venture Acceleration Program with support from the TRU Generator and Kamloops Innovation Centre to produce market-ready tourism products that fill current gaps.

“Industry partnership is critical to the success of our program, students and alumni because it keeps education up to speed with market activity and gaps, especially in BC,” said David Carter, assistant teaching professor and director of the Tourism Innovation Lab. “Our partnership with TOTA ensures students have access to resources that are current and reflect the state of the industry today.”

Success stories from the TRU Tourism Innovation Lab include:

Additionally, TOTA has renewed funding for the Tourism Excellence Award first established in 2014 to provide a $1,500 annual scholarship for the top academic student on the Bachelor of Tourism Management Program.



David Carter, Director, Tourism Innovation Lab
Thompson Rivers University
[email protected]

Ellen Walker Matthews, President and CEO
Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
250-809-9290 | [email protected]

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