Explore The Wild Life
You may have read in one of our recent blog posts that we anticipated "meaningful travel" to be one of the top-trending categories in tourism this year, and likely the coming years. Due to the rewarding and enlightening nature of this style of travel, its popularity is growing quickly with travelers wanting to experience more than just your average trip. Through these experiences, we're able to explore different cultures, see new places, learn more about ourselves and gain a deeper understanding of the world and our place within it, allowing us to become more culturally aware, conscious and educated on the diversity of people, places, and wildlife that exist.
In this blog post, we’re going to hone in on one specific leg of this travel style, and the benefits from it: Ecotourism, or wildlife tourism.
Ecotourism is defined by the The International Ecotourism Society as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the wellbeing of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”. This is an increasingly popular form of travel that allows people to explore and learn about the environment. It can involve activities such as observing and photographing animals in their natural habitats, participating in guided nature walks, and even engaging in educational activities and programs. Wildlife tourism and ecotourism have the potential to provide an important source of income for local communities, and can also help to raise awareness of the importance of conserving natural areas and protecting fragile ecosystems.
Spirit Bear Lodge, Klemtu, British Columbia
Canada’s west coast is home to a variety of unique and endangered coastal wildlife species. From sea lions, to orcas and even the majestic humpback whale, these species are all at risk of becoming extinct due to human activity. In addition, the salmon population has been drastically reduced due to overfishing, pollution and the destruction of natural habitats. Unfortunately, these animals are unable to defend themselves against human activities and depend on us to protect them.
It's widely agreed upon in the scientific and conservation community that Indigenous knowledge and input is essential when it comes to combating climate change and species conservation. Indigenous communities around the world have been living in balance with nature for centuries, and their traditional knowledge can provide invaluable insight into how we can effectively protect the environment. Indigenous Peoples are often experts on their local ecosystems and can provide perspectives on how to restore and conserve species, maintain habitats and reduce the impact of climate change.
A prime example of this is The Indigenous Coastal Wildlife Coalition. ICWC is a group of Indigenous-owned and operated tourism businesses on the West Coast of British Columbia who specialize in offering world class wildlife tours through a Coastal First Nations lens. One of these companies is the Klahoose Wilderness Resort, located in the beautiful Desolation Sound. This Indigenous-owned all-inclusive eco-resort invites travelers to experience a connection with the Indigenous culture of the region, the majestic grizzly bears of the Toba Inlet, and takes guests on immersive marine and terrestrial wildlife viewing tours throughout the traditional lands of the toq qaymɩxʷ (Klahoose) People.
Their investment is committed to the preservation, conservation, and protection of the ocean, wilderness, marine, and terrestrial life as well as the local community: “The Klahoose Nation supports sustainable forestry, aquaculture, and an expanding tourism portfolio. Visitors can now explore this resplendent region like never before as they experience the Klahoose Coastal Adventures Grizzly Bear viewing and lodge at the Klahoose Wilderness Resort. True to their legacy, both operators are fully committed to continue protecting the environment, its wildlife, and natural resources for all future generations.” (Interested in visiting? Click here!)
By choosing thoughtful tourism companies such as these, we're gaining life-changing experiences, learning about the wildlife and ecosystems of these areas, all while supporting influential businesses.
What's more meaningful than that?