Ecotourism Seize The Moment

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					                  Ecotourism: Seize The Moment
                            Presentation to the 1999 Saskatchewan Parks
                             And Recreation Association Conference ,
                                          October 22, 1999

                                   Presented by Ken Lozinsky ,
                                  Parks & Special Places Branch,
                                  Saskatchewan Environment &
                                      Resource Management

A. What is Ecotourism?
In Saskatchewan, we define:


"An enlightening nature travel experience that contributes to the conservation of the
ecosystem and to the cultural and economic resources of the host communities."

(Ecotourism Task Force/President's Ecotourism Committee)

Key Words

- education, interpretation, learning

"Nature Travel Experience"
- nature tourism, NOT shopping in a mall

"Contributes to Conservation of Ecosystem"
- visitors/tourists contribute financially to ecosystem protection and management

"Contribute to Cultural and Economic Resources of Host Communities"
- local benefits, local employment, dollars stay at home
Does Ecotourism Include:

    •   Nature Tourism (probably)
    •   Adventure Tourism/Travel (some)
    •   Aboriginal Tourism (?)
    •   Cultural Tourism (?)
    •   Outdoor Recreation (?)

Ecotourism Principals (Anne Finlayson, Interpretation Canada)

    •   Nature/Culture central to experience
    •   Uses low impact practices
    •   Hires and buys locally
    •   Limits visitation (low impact)
    •   Includes interpretation
    •   Supports conservation activities
    •   Includes "community" in planning

                                       CBC's Rex Murphy says,
                          "Ecotourism is sightseeing with a yuppy conscience!"

B. Growth Of/In Ecotourism
"You are tired with civilization, I come and offer you what? A single green leaf' - Grey Owl = expression of
harmony and communion with nature

Some statistics: (Randy Williams, Carol Patterson, etc)

    • according to Ecotourism Society worldwide nature travel amounted to $25 billion (U.S.) by mid

    • 1996: 20 million Canadians took part in one or more nature-related activities in Canada and spent $11
      billion on trip-related items/equipment (Saskatchewan residents = 648,000: see chart)

    • 1995: study estimated between 13 million to 23 million adult travellers in the U.S.A. interested in
      nature-based travel

    • In Saskatchewan, total visits by travellers taking part in ecotourism activities total 1.3 million/year
      with expenditures of approx. $142 million on ecotourism-related goods and services

    • Increased urbanization in the world, increased interest in things natural i.e. witness Europe's
      reluctance to purchase food stuffs which come from genetically modified sources

    • Research suggests that people spend more money on nature observation and bird watching activities
      than they do for hiking
    • Growing interest in ecotourism phenomenon

             e.g. - Interpretation Canada national conference in Cypress Hills
             September 1999 talked extensively about ecotourism

    • Meeting of federal/provincial/territorial ministers responsible for parks on September 21, 1999
      identified the impact which ecotourism is having on parks creation/enhancement/ management,
      further discussion to take place at next meeting in year 2000

    • 1999 Election Platform of re-elected NDP government talked about building ecotourism
      opportunities in Saskatchewan

    • Websites being established, e.g. Kalahari Management, Green Traveller Network

    • University and Community College training, e.g. Woodlands Campus in Prince Albert

C. What Does Saskatchewan Have to Offer?
    • Varied landscape, rich natural resources

    • Province of 652,000 km² = 6% of Canada's land mass but only 3% of her citizens

    • 13% of Saskatchewan is water

    • More than 36,500 km² of parks and protected areas = excellent locations to conduct ecotourism

    • 50% of province is not road accessible, accessed only by float plane/boat or canoe/or foot

    • Combination of grassland/parkland/boreal forest and shield makes Saskatchewan unique and home to
      a wide range of wildlife
          • greater number of bird species than most places in North America
          • home to 25% of North America's breeding duck population plus other waterfowl

    • Our wildlife resources/people/natural landscape/lakes and rivers/wide open skies (no
      mountains)/northern lights make Saskatchewan an ecotourist's delight

    • Northern Saskatchewan has a lot of potential for ecotourism, aboriginal tourism, adventure tourism
      etc, and the residents of northern Saskatchewan including aboriginal people have a lot of interest and
      experience in the area.

D. What Has Been Happening in Saskatchewan
So if ecotourism is a growth industry and because ecotourism seems to be a "real fit" for Saskatchewan, what
have we been doing to position ourselves in the driver's seat?
We need to undertake a bit of a historical perspective:

1930's (and earlier)

    •   Public recreation use and appreciation of natural and cultural heritage of province
    •   Use of Crown resource lands
    •   Canoeing, fishing, hunting
    •   1931: first provincial parks established

1930 - 1990

    •   establishment of and use of parks and use of Crown resource lands for recreation, nature appreciation
    •   canoeing, boating, fishing
    •   outfitting (fish and wildlife)
    •   organizations like Nature Saskatchewan established


    • Saskatchewan Watchable Wildlife Association (SWWA) established (Peter, Deb and Wayne all
      founding members)


    • SWWA and Tourism Saskatchewan partnered with federal and provincial governments to oversee
      development of ecotourism strategy for Saskatchewan

January 1996

    • Ecotourism Strategy released

March 1996

    • Outfitters Policy developed by SERM and Saskatchewan Outfitters Association (SOA) recommended
      that SERM not be involved in "regulating" commercial ecotourism

Fall 1996

    • Ecotourism Task Force established by Tourism Saskatchewan (Deb Greening - Chair, Ken and Peter
      - members); Task Force developed 21 recommendations which were presented at Ecotourism

January 1998

    • Ecotourism Conference, Saskatoon

June 1998
   • Board of SWWA recommends name change to ESS and initiate preliminary accreditation work
   • SERM established internal working group to formalize SERM's role/involvement/policies regarding
     ecotourism related to resource management and environmental protection

July 1998

   • Tourism Saskatchewan established President's Ecotourism Committee (Deb Greening - chair, Peter
     Kingmill - consultant, Ken Lozinsky - member); role of committee to review the 21 Ecotourism Task
     Force recommendations with all stakeholders, obtain agreement and move ahead with
     implementation, e.g. accreditation

November 1998 and beyond

   • SWWA formalizes name change to ESS and continues work in ecotourism; advocacy, planning,
     organization development

December 1998

   • Ecotourism major focus of Tourism Saskatchewan annual conference, process for accreditation
     program unveiled

Winter/Spring 1999

   • Ecotourism Accreditation program developed and completed with major industry/stakeholder input

May 1999

   • President's Ecotourism Committee confirms Accreditation Program

July 1999

   • Tourism Saskatchewan sends Accreditation Criteria out to 20 operators to complete and return = test/
     pilot program


   • Saskatchewan losing one of our Ecotourism promoters = Randy Williams, President of Tourism
     Saskatchewan moving to Ottawa

   • President's Ecotourism Committee, along with ESS, needs to continue to provide direction.

   • Continue testing of accreditation program (i.e. the packages only) with operators and with the market
     in year 2000

   • Government Agencies like SERM and Agriculture and Food need to clarify their policies and
         programs regarding ecotourism

   • Saskatchewan has been seen to be a "leader" in ecotourism, cooperative effort needed by all to

   • November 25, 1999 - ESS Annual Meeting, Saskatoon

   • October 2000 - Ecotourism Conference (ESS and other partners, planning underway)

Table 1:     Highlights for Nature-related Activities in Canada in 1996, in total and for the
             10 Provinces and the Yukon

                      Participants          Same-day and         Days                 Expenditures in
                      (number and           overnight trips      (number and          Canada
                      percentage of         (number and          mean)                (Total and mean)
                      population aged 15    mean)
                      or over)

Canada                19.9 million          191.0 million        1.5 billion          $11.0 billion
                      (84.7%)               (16.6)               (100.8)              ($549)

Newfoundland          374,000               6.2 million          31.7 million         $193 million
                      (82.7%)               (24.5)               (106.0)              ($519)

P.E.I.                91,000                868,000              11.2 million         $24.6 million
                      (85.0%)               (18.7)               (151.7)              ($271)

Nova Scotia           630,000               7.4 million          65.8 million         $244.8 million
                      (85.2%)               (20.0)               (128.6)              ($389)

New Brunswick         502,000               5.7 million          50.0 million         $208.2 million
                      (83.3%)               (18.4)               (122.5)              ($415)

Quebec                4.9 million           42.0 million         262.1 million        $2.1 billion
                      (83.5%)               (15.8)               (78.5)               ($418)

Ontario               7.6 million           66.3 million         634.4 million        $4.3 billion
                      (84.8%)               (15.4)               (109.7)              ($566)
Manitoba       751,000            6.3 million        48.8 million    $427.6 million
               (87.4%)            (14.0)             (87.5)          ($569)

Saskatchewan   648,000            6.1 million        41.0 million    $387.8 million
               (85.6%)            (15.8)             (84.5)          ($598)

Alberta        1.9 million        16.4 million       124.6 million   $1.2 billion
               (88.9%)            (14.1)             (89.4)          ($616)

B.C.           2.5 million        33.6 million       221.6 million   $1.9 billion
               (82.2%)            (21.3)             (113.8)         ($767)

Yukon          15,000             232,000            1.6 million     $16.0 million
               (76.9%)            (22.7)             (126.6)         ($1,052)

               Importance of Nature To
Source:        Canadians 1996
               (Statistical Compendium for Canada)
This document is complimentary and is provided from the   Appropriate Use
National Recreation Database by the
Lifestyle Information Network (LIN)

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