Be Wild in BC – Magazine of the Wilderness Tourism Association of BC

BeWildInBCDefining Ecotourism: Tips for Picking an Eco-Friendly Trip
Article by Maple Leaf Adventures’ Maureen Gordon

“The 500-pound grizzly bear, her claws longer than human fingers, lay down on the sedges and everyone stared. When her 250-pound cub climbed on her and began to nurse, even the guides jaws dropped.

“Here were nine eco-tourists and their guides from the schooner Maple Leaf, floating in rubber boats in the Great Bear Rainforest. Before them spread the green-gold estuary of a river riddled with spawning salmon. And beneath 3,000-foot cliffs of granite and a few inky-dark fir trees, a wary mother bear had just given them a sign of complete trust.

“This was nature tourism at its best. But, it would be instructive to ask, was it eco-tourism? With the craze to be “green”, many companies are labelling their products as eco-tours. Some of them are just plain deceiving the public. As consumer who want to do the right thing, what are the questions we should ask when picking an eco-tourism trip?”