Industry and Parks Canada recognize achievements of BC expedition cruise company

Maple Leaf guests at UN World Heritage Site SGang Gwaay in Haida Gwaii. Photo (c) Kevin J Smith/ Maple Leaf Adventures

Nov. 22, 2012, Victoria, BC – BC expedition cruise company Maple Leaf Adventures was awarded the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award Tuesday night during the Canada Tourism Awards gala in Gatineau, Quebec hosted by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

This national award recognizes Maple Leaf Adventures for promoting the appreciation of Canada’s natural, cultural and aesthetic heritage, while also protecting them. It further recognizes Maple Leaf’s role in promoting sustainable tourism’s social, cultural, economic and environmental significance.

Rod Harris, of the Maple Leaf Adventures board of directors, accepts the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award from environment minister Peter Kent and CEO of Parks Canada Agency Alan Latourelle. Photo courtesy of TIAC

“We understand that our successes and accolades are directly attributable to the fully functioning ecosystem along the BC coast, to its residents, and to its beauty, which inspires us daily,” said Kevin Smith, president of Maple Leaf Adventures. “It’s only natural that we would do all in our power to protect the places that we return to every spring with our guests. Thank you to the judging committee for this incredible honour, and for recognizing the benefits of sustainable tourism.”

Maple Leaf Adventures offers ecotourism-based safari cruises on the classic, 92-foot sailing ship Maple Leaf.  The multi-day excursions let guests intimately experience the most beautiful places on the B.C. coast in the company of expert naturalists and First Nations guides.

The SV Maple Leaf in the company of dolphins, Great Bear Rainforest, BC. Photo (c) Kevin J Smith/ Maple Leaf Adventures

A long time practitioner of ecotourism, Maple Leaf pioneered travel in the Great Bear Rainforest and northwestern Vancouver Island, and has made significant contributions to conservation. The company forged economic protocol agreements with First Nations, and has enshrined the triple bottom line in its shareholder agreement – the legal obligations to which the company executives are held.

“These outstanding organizations have demonstrated ingenuity, perseverance and determination on the path to success and are a testament to Canada’s world-class tourism industry,” said TIAC President and CEO David Goldstein at the awards gala. “Not only have they excelled through their extraordinary vision and hard work, but these business leaders are also drivers of economic growth and job creation in Canada. The industry congratulates them on their success and on this outstanding achievement.”

Since its inception in 2003 the Canadian Tourism Awards have become the standard of excellence for businesses and organizations in the travel industry, showcasing the nation’s best tourism products, services and experiences. The nominees are judged by a pan-Canadian panel of industry peers.

About Maple Leaf Adventures

Maple Leaf Adventures has provided conservation travel experiences aboard a classic sailing ship 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. National Geographic Adventure has rated Maple Leaf one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”.  For more information about Maple Leaf Adventures and its 2013 trips in Haida Gwaii, the Great Bear Rainforest, southeast Alaska, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and the Broughton Archipelago, please visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com or call 1-250-386-7245.

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