Reaction to Northern Gateway Pipeline Announcement from Joint Review Panel – Maple Leaf Adventures

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Spot Cascadia looking small among the mountains that surround the anchorage. Photo by Simon Ager.

“Interested parties living outside BC just don’t seem to get it. We make our living from the ocean. Our culture is derived from the ocean and our rivers, and all they support. There is no way British Columbians will allow our livelihood and our culture to be potentially ruined for the sole benefit of this oil company. It’s not going to happen.”

“We and every adventure tourism business we know in the Great Bear Rainforest are expanding. The demand from travellers is huge for the intact, fully functioning wilderness we have and all the wildlife that lives in it. We have a bright future. We are great for the Canadian and BC economy. We bring foreign spending into Canada’s economy. This is not about jobs vs. environment. It’s about which jobs, that benefit whom.

“Because of the large area of wilderness the Great Bear Rainforest is an international destination on the scale of the Serengeti and the Galapagos Islands. It’s pretty clear to me that protecting the Great Bear Rainforest, and not threatening it, is in Canada’s national interest.”

– Kevin Smith, president, Maple Leaf Adventures


About Maple Leaf Adventures & Its Expansion in Adventure Tourism

  • Added a second ship for 2014 to increase capacity by about 40%, largely for trips in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii
  • Operates expedition cruises by sailing ship on the BC and Alaska coast. These conservation-based trips feature wildlife, nature, and cultural history.
  • Trips are rated one of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime, one of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Signature Experiences, and one of Frommer’s Canada’s Best Travel Experiences
  • Maple Leaf operates according to the principles of ecotourism and has protocol agreements with First Nations in areas we operate.

About Kevin Smith

  • President of Maple Leaf Adventures, 2001 to present
  • Also, a Transport Canada certified passenger carrying vessel master, 2002 to present
  • Geographer and Land Use Planner, Central Coast Land and Resource Management Plan 1996-2001
  • Founding executive of Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC
  • Director of Wilderness Tourism Association of BC

About the Adventure Tourism Industry

  • The worldwide adventure travel market grew an average of 65% per year from 2009 to 2012. (Adventure Travel Trade Association, 2013)
  • For comparison, the entire Canadian economy grew an average of 2% per year in the same period. (Source: Statistics Canada “Gross domestic product at basic prices, by industry”)
  • Average trip spending increased nearly 20% per year between 2009 and 2012. (Adventure Travel Trade Association, 2013)
  • While adventure tourism brought in significant revenues on its own, the spin-off revenues in the local community increased the number by 60%. (Tourism BC and Wilderness Tourism Association, 2005)
  • “During the last decade, tourism in BC grew more rapidly than our economy as a whole, despite challenging international events.” (BC Government’s 5-year tourism strategy, 2012-2016)
  • In outlining its 5-year strategy to increase tourism revenue by 5% per year, the BC government identified the following key tourism products necessary: “Touring vacations, city experiences, skiing/snowboarding, Aboriginal tourism, conventions and meetings and outdoor adventure/eco-tourism.” (BC Government’s 5-year tourism strategy, 2012-2016)

About Oil Spill Impacts to Tourism


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