Tourism in Tasmania is on the rise and one tourism operator is heading to Canada to find ways to help tourism operators, the government and the Tasmanian Aboriginal community work together towards more culturally sensitive tourism.

Ben Rea, Tasmanian E-bike Adventures owner-operator is launching a 100km sea kayak wilderness expedition through the remote Gwaii Haanas National Park on Canada’s Wild West Coast to learn more about how nature reserves can be cooperatively managed.

Gwaii Haanas is recognized worldwide for the cooperative management approach between the Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation. Before entering the Park, visitors undergo an induction program helping them to connect sustainably with the place. Throughout the islands there are remote posts at traditional village sites where ‘watchman’ explain the stories of the Haida people and the environment in which they live.

“I’m excited to learn more about how wild places can be cooperatively managed by Governments and First Nations people and I hope to build a better understanding of culturally sensitive sustainable tourism and bring what I learn back to Tasmania, so we can build on our reputation and empower our community” Ben Rea said.

“People from all over the world are discovering Tassie for the first time and that’s great but it’s vital we grow the industry sustainably and, where possible work in relationship with Tasmania’s First People to care for our natural environment and understand our cultural stories.”

“I will be creating a record of the trip and I am looking forward to sharing with the Tasmanian community through an event hosted and promoted by Education for Sustainability Tasmania,” Ben explained.

Education for Sustainability Tasmania is a new network of organisations that aims to harness the full potential of learning to help more people develop the skills and capacity needed to protect our planet and ensure social and cultural prosperity for all. It includes the major education institutions and community and business organisations.

Ben Clark, Chair of the Education for Sustainability Tasmania network is keen to support initiatives such as this, “Community education that highlights the importance of building upon indigenous knowledge is imperative as we seek to nurture culturally sensitive and environmentally sustainable thinkers,” he said.
Ben Rea, Tasmanian E Bike Adventures,