Eco-Tourism Practices

Responsible Tourism

Maple Leaf Adventures has been featured by the Canadian and British Columbia governments as a leader in responsible tourism.

Our operations and interactions with the human and natural world are informed by the principles of ecotourism:


  1. Our trips have low impact (virtually no impact!) on the planet. We build no structures and we leave nothing behind in the natural areas that we visit. We respect the carrying capacity of each place — whether it’s an estuary where bears need to focus on eating and safety, a small community we visit or a rainforest trail. We have intentionally limited the number of guests we take to create this human-scale, no-impact way of exploring the coast.

  2. We are a local, coastal company. We provide skilled, meaningful employment for local people like us who are proud to share our home, and we partner in hyper-local ways, with each community we visit. Since the early 2000s, we have been a pioneer in initiating protocol agreements with coastal First Nations whose territories we operate in. These agreements provide an economic commitment by us to a community, formalize our relationship with community guides, lay out our stewardship principles, and recognize traditional territory. We supply our ships in local ports and we calculate that our trips leave a very large percentage of revenues directly in these communities.

  3. We believe that it is not enough to merely “see” the coast. We enable our guests to immerse themselves in its beauty, to meet the people that live here in an authentic setting, and to learn as much as they desire about it. 

  4. We work within the regulations of parks, conservation areas and governments, we pay the applicable fees and obtain permits for all limited-use areas we visit.

  5. We dedicate time and resources to preserving the natural and cultural worlds we travel in. We support research organizations and other organizations working for positive change on the coast. We volunteer the time of our own team for conservation, education and the development of sound ecotourism policies in the province of B.C. Maple Leaf Adventures co-founded the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC (sustainable, responsible bear viewing) and co-founded the Gwaii Haanas Tour Operators Association. Members of Maple Leaf Adventures are part of the Wilderness Tourism Association, the province of BC’s Joint Steering Committee on adventure tourism, the BC Ocean Boating Tourism Association and Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

  6. We steward two of Canada’s historic maritime artefacts, the classic schooner Maple Leaf (BC’s oldest tall ship built in 1904 in Vancouver), and the classic tugboat Swell (one of BC’s oldest, still-working tugboats, built in Vancouver in 1912). We also research and publish the history of these two significant vessels and educate about the history of boating on the coast. This is done with no grant money of any kind.