For the past two years, a remarkable conference has taken place in Victoria, BC during the cold wet days of late January. It is completely focused on the opportunities for and challenges to sustainable travel and tourism in Canada and around the world. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only conference of its kind in Canada.
Over the past two years, the Songhees Nation has been slowly developing a variety of aboriginal tourism initiatives. They are part of the Nation’s economic development strategy. At their Wellness Centre located in Esquimalt, tourists will find a gallery, gift shop and cafe.
The Centre is also serves as home base for Songhees Seafood and Steam – a catering service. During the summer, the catering service includes a food truck that stands out from the crowd with its brightly coloured panels of aboriginal design.
From the lower level of the historic Steamship Terminal on Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the Songhees Nation offers a variety of tours, including by canoe, bus or walking. Whether a visitor is interested in booking a tour, it is worthwhile to drop by to check out the gallery and gift shop and to view several displays and exhibits.
The Songhees Nation is taking great pride in sharing their history and culture with tourists who come to Victoria. Their connection to the area extends back thousands of years.
Canada is recognized as a world-leader in aboriginal tourism and the demand for these experiences is growing rapidly. The Songhees Nation appears to be well-positioned to benefit from this trend.
Climate change is already having a significant impact on travel and tourism, just as travel and tourism contribute to climate change. Some within the industry are aware of these reciprocal impacts and are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint through auditing and offsetting of emissions.
Interviews for this video were conducted during the IMPACT Sustainable Travel and Tourism Conference held in Victoria, BC from Jan 22 – 24, 2018. The video production was made possible by the Community Producer Program of ShawTV in Victoria. Special thanks to Lorraine Scollan from ShawTV for shooting the interviews and assisting post-production.