Port is “gateway to the wilderness”, says tourism study

  • Sep. 8, 2008 9:00 a.m.

Even though Port Clements is clean and safe, with opportunities for fishing, birdwatching and sunset viewing, many visitors to the islands bypass the village, according to a new study. Port’s Tourism Development Action Plan, officially approved by council late last month, suggests that village could attract more visitors by promoting Port as “the gateway to the wilderness”, creating a map showing hiking, camping and rock hunting opportunities in the area, maintaining trails, building a visitor information centre, and promoting activities like geocaching and kayaking. The village does not plan to increase taxes to fund tourism development but will aggressively pursue funding from sources like the Gwaii Trust, the UBCM community tourism program, the provincial Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, and the federal department of Western Economic Diversification. As part of the plan, the village surveyed residents to find out what they think about tourism opportunities and development. Thirty-seven residents completed questionnaires, out of 220 that were mailed out. The responders suggested that Port’s most important tourist attractions are its trails, Masset Inlet, the museum, the dock, its central location, the mud bog races, hunting and fishing opportunities and sunsets. Drawbacks to tourism, according to the survey, include no beach access, the derelict vehicles around town, lack of transportation, not enough scenic heritage buildings, nothing to do, and too many logging trucks driving through town. The complete tourism plan is now available at the village office.