Islanders got a look for the first time Saturday at the new heritage tourism strategy document, likely to become a blueprint for how tourism development will proceed on the islands in the future.
The group behind the Heritage Tourism Strategy presented its core document at an open house in Tlell, the first time the 11-page strategy had been made public.
The document, titled ‘Haida Gwaii-Queen Charlotte Islands Heritage Tourism Strategy’, defines ‘heritage’ as having five integrated elements: the relationship between healthy ecosystems and our way of life; a deep and profound respect for Haida culture; a strong determination to preserve our unique island way of life; an inspired relationship to pace and community; integrity and the importance of that which is local.
It also outlines several linked objectives, which include encouraging all to respect its definition of heritage and to ensure that the strategy contributes to building a sustainable island economy.
The strategy document has been in the works for almost two years, when islanders were invited to take part in the process. Since then, the working group has been meeting and consulting with a wide variety of groups, including the Council of the Haida Nation, various municipal governments, the HG Tourism Association and the Sandspit Chamber of Commerce, among others. It presented its draught strategy to the public last fall.
The group has just hired an interim coordinator to work on getting a more permanent group together to implement the objectives in the strategy. That group is expected to be formed by June, after which the strategy working group will likely disband.
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