TOURISM


Due to its rich natural and cultural resources, Gitga’at Territory is particularly well-suited for adventure, heritage, cultural and nature-based tourism development. As such, the industry is an increasingly important component of Gitga’at economic development strategies.

Current Activity:

Several tourism businesses operate in Gitga’at Territory throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall months. The Gitga’at continue to pursue mutually beneficial relationships with these operators. These relationships will allow the Gitga’at to build internal capacity for tourism while managing industry activities in their Territory.

The Gitga'at have established tourism development protocols with several tourism operations. These protocols outline principles of sustainable tourism development, guidelines for the use of Gitga’at marine and terrestrial resources, coordinated planning , monitoring and information sharing procedures, and employment and training comittments .

Operators with Protocols

Wilderness Lodge:
King Pacific Lodge

Sportfishing Lodges:
Big Time Fishing
St. John’s Fishing Lodge

West Coast Resorts

Sailing Charter Companies:
Bluewater Adventures
Duen Adventures
Maple Leaf Adventures
The Ocean Light

Tourism Development Objectives

  • Provide high quality, authentic tourism products and services to visitors in Gitga’at Territory.
  • Generate employment opportunities and economic benefits for Hartley Bay community members.
  • Maintain the integrity of the natural and cultural resources in Gitga’at Territory.

Planning

Tourism development in Gitga’at Territory must be sustainable. To address ecological and cultural integrity concerns, the Gitga’at developed a framework to determine area carrying capacities, which are influenced by physical, ecological, business, socio-cultural and institutional factors.

To date, the Gitga’at have undertaken numerous planning activities to provide overall strategic and day-to-day management direction for tourism development in their Territory. Planning documents include:

Human Resource Strategy

Recognizing the importance of increasing their community’s human resource capacity for tourism, the Gitga'at leadership are is working closely with village Elders and School District #52 to develop a comprehensive strategy to address present and future needs. Identified priorities include:

  1. Developing a grade 11 and 12 curriculum to increase awareness of the tourism industry and the opportunities it can provide;
  2. Developing a First Nations post-secondary tourism training program in partnership with local businesses and institutions;
  3. Identifying candidates to fill GDC tourism positions early and enrolling them in the appropriate courses a local institutions;
  4. Providing management training for two Gitga’at tourism staff over the next four years; and,
  5. Working with a select group of non-local individuals and businesses to provide necessary planning, marketing, and communications consulting services in the short term.

The provision of training and education opportunities to transfer required skills to Gitga’at employees will be a top priority. Mechanisms that will be employed to ensure that this goal is achieved include:

  • Training and skill development through agreements and internships with the sport fishing and wilderness lodges in the Territory;
  • Training and skill development through mentoring and job-shadowing opportunities for highschool students;
  • Formal recruitment of those interested in tourism employment through job fairs; and,
  • Enrollment of two young Gitga'at in tourism management programs at Northwest Community College, Capilano College, Malaspina College, or other regional programs.


Gitga’at Tourism

In 2004, the Gitga’at developed a tourism business plan that outlines a suite of services and products for visitors to Hartley Bay (some of which are currently being offered). These experiences are offered in an ecologically sensitive and culturally appropriate fashion (link to tourism page).

Products and experiences relate to three general themes, including:

Cultural Tourism Featuring significant elements of Gitga’at culture, including seaweed and halibut harvesting, traditional village sites, longhouses, petroglyphs, non-timber forest product knowledge and use, foods and feasting, and performing arts.
Nature-Based Tourism Highlighting the natural resources in Gitga’at Territory, including wildlife viewing, hot springs, canoeing and kayaking, diving, remote cabin accommodation and camping.
Visitor Services These products service commercial and non-commercial boating traffic (as well as other community visitors). Products include B&B and remote cabin accommodation, meals, souvenirs, washrooms, showers, laundromat, and internet access.

 



 

 

 


 
 
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