The five-day tour highlights all four villages of the Nisga’a Nation, including a boat ride in Gingolx. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

Nisga’a Nation tourism industry hits the road

First pilot tour to the Nass Valley is set for this summer with Indigenous Tourism BC

The Nisga’a Nation tourism board will be holding their first pilot tour in the Nass Valley this summer.

The tour from July 12 to 16 is part of a multi-year plan to encourage and grow tourism into the area, with an intention to create more jobs and infrastructure.

“The idea is to make Nisga’a Nation have their own destination brand,” says Bertram Mercer, manager of economic development of the Nisga’a Lisims Government.

The five-day tour highlights all four villages of the Nisga’a Nation, with visits to local restaurants, stays at lodges and cultural activities. Along the way are several stops at scenic nature sites such as the hot springs, the lava beds, waterfalls and lakes.

Approximately eight people, made up of tourism representatives and “influencers”, will be joining in the tour to test the fluidity of the itinerary and provide feedback on how “tourism ready” each location is, and how it can be improved. The tour will also be featured on Destination BC, Indigenous Tourism Canada and through different tour operators.

READ MORE: Nisga’a celebrate 19 years of self-government in B.C. legislature

Dana Schoahs, director of marketing at Indigenous Tourism BC, says she sees great potential for the Nisga’a Nation and what it has to offer, especially given the vast landscape and uniqueness of the Nass Valley.

“[The goal is to] work with industry partners because they will be our influencers and they will also be the ones that kind of sell it,” she says. “It needs to be market ready [with] scheduled departures, the place has to be reliable and stuff like that…it’s really to understand where are we at with the destination? What needs to be happening? And where do we have to work with the individual businesses to get them to the next stage? It’s ironing out all the kinks.”

Scoahs says they’ve recognized an increase in expressed interest in Indigenous tourism in the province and nation-wide as more people are wanting to have more cultural experiences they can’t find in bigger cities.

“They really [like to] experience a destination, not just like come in and come out,” says Schoahs. “One in three visitors to Canada are looking for an Indigenous tourism experience.”

Scoahs will help launch the Nisga’a tourism brand to entice a tourism appeal. Prior to this contract, Scoahs was a part in establishing Haida Gwaii’s Indigenous tourism and sees a lot of comparable factors. She says their aim is to convince people booking their next trip to Canada, specifically from countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia, to include the Nass Valley on their to-do list.

“[This would be] really showcasing their culture, bringing that to the forefront and marrying it with the beautiful landscape for people to get an appreciation [of it all],” she says.

READ MORE: Hobiyee 2019: Feeding a thousand people in Ging̱olx

Driving through the Nass Valley, signs indicating points of interest along the Nisga’a Highway are part of the “Auto Tour Route”. These spots are designated tourist stops to be included in the itinerary, which would also eventually cater to tour buses in a few years. At the moment, these pull-offs are for self-guided and smaller vehicle tours.

“When someone comes in on the buses, we can bring them out to places to look at the sites and have an ambassador there to explain the significance,” Mercer says.

BC Parks has also been working with the Nisga’a tourism board to build more tourist-required facilities like rest stop washrooms, trail maintenance and a visitors centre.

Mercer adds their vision of a tourism industry has already sparked a few entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses. Members are able to enroll in business workshops and certification programs to help develop important skills that could benefit tourism in the area.



natalia@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wheels for meals: Community food drive rolls through Barriere

Food Drive on Wheels collected 330 pounds of food and about $5,000 for the food bank.

Virtual run for Terry Fox anniversary

Virtual run for 40th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope to be held Sunday, Sept. 20.

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Police asking for public’s help in finding wanted woman

Robin Victoria Leigh Alcorn, 44, is wanted for one count of theft under $5,000.

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read