November 4, 2014 – The international sustainable tourism certification body, Green Tourism, has shortlisted three Canadian companies for its GoldStar awards next month, and British Columbia’s Maple Leaf Adventures is one of them.

Maple Leaf operates boutique expedition cruises in the fjords and archipelagos of British Columbia and Alaska. Focussing on providing peak experiences for small numbers of guests – for example, naturalist-led wilderness bear viewing – the company has always operated according to the principles of eco-tourism, since its inception in 1986.

These principles, and the company’s very high results on Green Tourism Canada’s independent, on-site sustainability assessment, netted Maple Leaf Adventures the award nomination.

“People aren’t satisfied any longer with vague promises about environmental or ethical responsibility – this became clear in a recent study by the Business Development Bank of Canada,” said Andrea Nicholas, manager of the international Green Tourism Business Scheme. “The businesses shortlisted for the GoldStar awards, including BC’s Maple Leaf Adventures, are real examples of those who have done the most to promote true sustainability while also benefitting the bottom line.”

With the addition of its second boutique ship for 2015 trips in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island region as well as Alaska, Maple Leaf Adventures has proven that there is a growing market for conservation travel. The term conservation travel denotes trips that contribute to the conservation of wildlife, natural places and local communities as a natural outcome of business activities.

“As entrepreneurs, we are interested in improving things in the world,” said Maple Leaf Adventures’ marketing manager and co-owner Maureen Gordon. “We appreciate the challenge of creating a business that proves you can be successful and not destroy the planet in the process. Certification bodies like Green Tourism Canada are essential to separating the green-washers from the authentic businesses, so we are truly honoured to be nominated for this award.”

The awards will be announced on November 10th at the Green Tourism Conference in Manchester, UK.

For information on Maple Leaf Adventures’ boutique expedition cruises by classic ship, see or call +1-250-386-7245.


Sample tweet: Canada’s conservation travel company @MapleLeafAdvent nets green tourism award nom from @the_gtbs!

PHOTOS available from

Media contact: Maureen Gordon, Maple Leaf Adventures or 1-250-386-7245 / 1-250-881-6143 (mobile)

About Maple Leaf Adventures

Selected for Canada’s “Signature Experiences Collection” by the Canadian Tourism Commission, Maple Leaf Adventures has provided conservation-focused, big adventures aboard small ships since 1986. With a reputation as one of Canada’s top sustainable tour operators, its multi-day excursions give guests one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the most beautiful and rare places in the world, often in areas that were once under threat of destruction or in dire need of protection. In 2012, Maple Leaf was awarded the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award, for promoting the appreciation of Canada’s natural, cultural and aesthetic heritage, while also protecting them. As a long time practitioner of ecotourism, Maple Leaf Adventures pioneered travel in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest and northwestern Vancouver Island and has made significant contributions to conservation. National Geographic Adventure has rated Maple Leaf Adventures one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”. For more information, visit

About Green Tourism Business Scheme and Green Tourism Canada

With over 2,000 members in the UK, Ireland and Canada, we are the largest and most established sustainable grading programme in the world. Green Tourism offers credible, trustworthy, independent guidance to tourism businesses wishing to operate sustainably.      Green Tourism is recognised by UK national and regional government as a crucial part of its drive towards sustainability. Our aim is to build on this strong position and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of sustainable tourism in the future whilst extending our work around the world.

Green Tourism is 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. For more information visit