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The BC Effect: How to tell and sell travel with purpose

With the news of Adventure World’s ‘Travel with Purpose’ rebrand and their incredible competition to get you (yes, you) to British Columbia, Canada on their 2023 BC Sustainability Fam, we thought we’d check in with the AW experts. We talked travelling with purpose and what an ethically curated adventure to BC would be like!

With the news of Adventure World’s ‘Travel with Purpose’ rebrand and their incredible competition to get you (yes, you) to British Columbia, Canada on their 2023 BC Sustainability Fam, we thought we’d check in with the AW experts. We talked travelling with purpose and what an ethically curated adventure to BC would be like!

Adventure World Travel has been inspiring travellers to experience British Columbia for over 40 years. Their consultants are specialists in their chosen destinations and were excited to share their first hand experiences and talk about all things AW, BC, sustainability and travelling with purpose.

What makes British Columbia such a standout destination?

Top: Kristy Prince, North America Product Manager. Lower left: Lorraine Herring, North America Destination Specialist. Lower Right: Knight Inlet Lodge is an Indigenous owned lodge strongly advocating for sustainable fisheries and wildlife management policies in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Top: Kristy Prince, North America Product Manager. Lower left: Lorraine Herring, North America Destination Specialist. Lower Right: Knight Inlet Lodge is an Indigenous owned lodge strongly advocating for sustainable fisheries and wildlife management policies in the Great Bear Rainforest.

One thing we’ve learnt about BC lately is that they are collectively hyper-focused on sustainability. Lorraine Herring, North America Destination Specialist, commented on how aligned BC is with the Adventure World ‘Travel with Purpose’ ethos. “Most operators in British Columbia are now conscious of sustainable tourism and aligning with wildlife conservation efforts. This makes it a standout destination for travellers who want to minimise their impact.”

What an absolutely stunning natural environment it is. Kristy Prince, North America Product Manager, had this to say. “BC offers diversity. From cosmopolitan Vancouver to alpine resort villages, mountains, desert, rainforest, and ocean. There is an abundance of wildlife, with responsible tourism opportunities helping clients witness them in the wild. BC also offers an array of Indigenous experiences to learn more about their culture and history.”

How did the ‘BC Effect’ take hold when you visited the province?

Top: Orcas, Vancouver Island ©Destination BC/Reuben Krabbe. Lower left: Jules Gerrard, North America Destination Specialist. Lower right: Aleta Freer, Head of Operations.
Top: Orcas, Vancouver Island ©Destination BC/Reuben Krabbe. Lower left: Jules Gerrard, North America Destination Specialist. Lower right: Aleta Freer, Head of Operations.

So, the ‘BC Effect’ relates to how time in nature is proven to be good for your health. And BC has an abundance of nature! The raw power of British Columbia’s craggy mountains, lush rainforest, rugged coastlines, and diverse wildlife awakens a deeper connection within that. A shift in perspective and sense of inner peace is a side effect of a visit to BC. 

Jules Gerrard felt this in full force when she visited, thanks to the scenery and the people. She shared, “The ‘BC Effect’ took hold when I first arrived as the people were open, welcoming, and made me feel at home.” Jules continued, “Another BC highlight was whale watching from Vancouver Island. It was awe-inspiring to see a pod of resident orcas in the wild.”

AW’s Head of Operations, Aleta Freer, has a longer history with British Columbia, as she grew up spending family holidays salmon fishing, kayaking, and hiking Vancouver Island. She fondly remembers “being surprised by a humpback whale breaching next to our boat, and orcas swimming alongside the BC ferry on the way home.” She continued, “BC offers so many opportunities to be still, breathe deeply, and feel a connection to nature and the world around you.”

What’s the best tip you’ve received (or advice given) about helping travellers choose sustainable travel experiences?

Malahat SkyWalk is Vancouver Island’s newest visitor destination, where the forested mountains drop away to the Pacific Ocean, this incredible fully accessible experience will provide guests a truly Vancouver Island experience. A 600m elevated walk leads to a 40m sightseeing tower offering breathtaking views leaves guests feeling connected to nature. ©Hamish Hamilton
Malahat SkyWalk is Vancouver Island’s newest visitor destination, where the forested mountains drop away to the Pacific Ocean, this incredible fully accessible experience will provide guests a truly Vancouver Island experience. A 600m elevated walk leads to a 40m sightseeing tower offering breathtaking views leaves guests feeling connected to nature. ©Hamish Hamilton

While Adventure World’s rebrand may be fresh, its sustainability focus isn’t! The North America team have been supporting agents in this area for more than 40 years now.

Kristy Prince advises, “Travelling sustainably doesn’t mean it’s more expensive. There are small things that travellers can do that help make their journey more sustainable. Like choosing walking or bike tours to see a city. And seizing the opportunities to interact with local communities and cultures – those personal connections will stay with you long after the journey is over.”

Jules Gerrard does her homework, “The best tip I’ve ever been given for wildlife experiences abroad is to do your research. You want to make sure the experiences happen in the animal’s wild habitat and that the operators are ethical.”

Aleta has this nugget to share, “Sustainability is essential to our industry’s longevity and ongoing success. My best tip for agents is to join webinars, read up on sustainability policies and become an advocate yourself! Customers are already asking these questions so don’t be shy about steering your clients towards more thoughtful travel choices.”

What’s the most meaningful BC trip you’ve been on, and what made it so impactful?

The Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia is home to many Indigenous communities as well as abundant wildlife including grizzly and black bears, whales, otters and more. ©Kenneth Canning
The Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia is home to many Indigenous communities as well as abundant wildlife including grizzly and black bears, whales, otters and more. ©Kenneth Canning

Kristy Prince claims her first BC trip was most meaningful. She said, “Visiting a floating wilderness lodge in the Great Bear Rainforest, coming face-to-face with incredible grizzlies, and learning from the expert guides about conservation is something I will never forget.” She continues, “on another trip, we spent a morning with a Haida Nation guide on Vancouver Island, learning how to make our own traditional drum, while he shared stories of his culture and their way of life.”

Olo Tusa had an amazing experience on a ziptrek eco-tour above snowcapped trees in Whistler. “BC in winter is truly a wonderland. What made this experience so meaningful for me was being able to immerse myself in the old growth rainforest and learning from the guides about the amazing ecosystem that they operate in. The drive from Vancouver to Whistler along the Sea to Sky highway was also a surprising highlight!”

How do you put ‘Travel with Purpose’ into practice when planning your own vacations?

Left: British Columbia's sights and experiences include spectacular scenery and cosmopolitan cities including Vancouver © Albert Normandin. Lower left: There is a sheer abundance of furred, feathered and finned wildlife in British Columbia, from companionable Bald Eagles to orcas and bears ©Ken Hoehn. Right: Paulina Zielinska, North America Destination Specialist
Left: British Columbia’s sights and experiences include spectacular scenery and cosmopolitan cities including Vancouver © Albert Normandin. Lower left: There is a sheer abundance of furred, feathered and finned wildlife in British Columbia, from companionable Bald Eagles to orcas and bears ©Ken Hoehn. Right: Paulina Zielinska, North America Destination Specialist

Paulina Zielinska, North America Destination Specialist, is big on researching to ensure she can give back to the communities she visits. “I would rather stay in a family or locally owned hotel than a chain. I would also rather do experiences with a local guide and get the first-hand experiences of their culture.”

For some, it’s connecting with the locals; for others, it’s the wildlife. Kristy Prince is very wildlife-focused. “Nothing can compare to witnessing animals in their natural habitat. It’s imperative the operators I choose must have strong wildlife conservation policy and responsible tourism practices.”

If you had to choose one of Adventure World’s six BC Travel with Purpose trips, which one would you pick, and why?

Top: Harbour Air Seaplanes, North America’s first carbon-neutral commercial airline. Lower left: Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site ©Destination BC/Brandon Hartwig. Lower right: Olo Tusa, North America Destination Specialist.
Top: Harbour Air Seaplanes, North America’s first carbon-neutral commercial airline. Lower left: Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site ©Destination BC/Brandon Hartwig. Lower right: Olo Tusa, North America Destination Specialist.

“I’d choose BC’s Coastal Adventure”, reveals Lorraine Herring. “I love that we include transportation with Harbour Air Seaplanes, North America’s first carbon-neutral commercial airline.”

Kristy Prince would throw her hand up for the Haida Gwaii Explorer. “Not only is this trip 100% Haida-owned and operated, offering immersive Indigenous experiences, it’s also packed with incredible flora and fauna. Often referred to as Canada’s Galapagos, these islands offer amazing biodiversity and are home to the largest subspecies of black bear.”

Paulina Zielinska would choose the Grizzlies of the Great Bear Rainforest, and Olo Tusa, North America Destination Specialist, wants to join the Island Wildlife and Adventure. You can read about both of these tours here.

Why is the client offer of a 1-year sponsorship with BC Whales so meaningful to Adventure World?

By sponsoring a whale for our clients, we are helping to ensure that these creatures can continue to wow visitors for many years to come. ©Eagle Wing Tours/Valerie Shore
“By sponsoring a whale for our clients, we are helping to ensure that these creatures can continue to wow visitors for many years to come.” ©Eagle Wing Tours/Valerie Shore

For every client you book on a BC trip with AW, they’ll receive a 1-year sponsorship of a whale. Pretty neat, huh?

AW’s North America product manager, Kristy Prince, spills the beans on why. “Our clients enjoy travelling to incredible destinations, witnessing the amazing wildlife that calls these regions home. By sponsoring a whale for our clients, we are helping to ensure that these creatures can continue to wow visitors for many years to come.”

How Can You Get to BC?

If being on the receiving end of the ‘BC Effect’ sounds like an experience you can’t afford to miss, you’ll want to start booking more British Columbia with Adventure World! Until the 2nd of May, your bookings will get you in the draw to win a life-changing place on AW’s 2023 BC Sustainability Fam.

To learn more about Adventure World’s fab British Columbia tour offerings, the fam opportunity (including T&Cs), and to access their thoroughly helpful agent toolkit, click here.

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