Sustainable Tourism in Canada

Sustainable Tourism in Canada

Canada knows its stuff when it comes to sustainability. As the world’s second largest country, the much-loved North American nation plays host to more than its fair share natural wonders and is keen to preserve them for years to come. The urge to travel more sustainably has become an irresistible force in recent years, and countries are upping their sustainable tourism initiatives for the benefit of both travellers and the planet. Sustainable tourism in Canada takes many forms and in line with our concept of Kintsugi Travel (where we aim to build back travel with more positive impact than before the pandemic), we’re eager to shed light on them. Here are some ways to travel sustainably in Canada that advantage both the visitor and the destination…

  1. Undertourism in Canada
  2. Philantourism in Canada
  3. Community-Based Tourism in Canada
  4. Indigenous Tourism in Canada


Undertourism in Canada

Overtourism is defined as ‘the congestion or overcrowding from an excess of tourists’ and is an unfortunate side-effect of the world’s ever-growing wanderlust. With our collection of undertourism destinations, we aim to encourage adventuring off the well-trodden path and seeking out lesser-known corners where you can travel responsibly. New York City alone sees around 800,000 British tourists a year, while Canada plays host to approximately 750,000 annually across the whole country. So, if you don’t fancy queuing for the Empire State Building or competing for that all important Instagram shot in Times Square, Canada is the tranquil antidote (boasting both outdoor and city-based attractions). And with so much wide open space, there are some spots that’ll make you feel like you have the whole place to yourself.


Philantourism in Canada

Our concept of Philantourism promotes the idea of visiting destinations that benefit most from tourism, making travel a force for good. In many places, you can support the local economy simply by being there and spending money within the community. While this isn’t as applicable to Canada as some other destinations (the country is blessed with a stable economy and government), tourism remains an important economic pillar in certain regions, such as indigenous communities and eco-lodges in more remote areas. The tourist industry generates more than 740,000 jobs within communities across Canada, contributing more than $100 billion to the economy.


Community-Based Tourism in Canada

Local communities play a key role in championing sustainable tourism in Canada, through conservation projects that work to preserve both cultural traditions and the environment. Staying in a community-run eco-lodge is one way of minimising the impact of your visit, while also ensuring your money goes towards supporting the local community. For example, Le Baluchon Éco-Villégiature is a member of Sustainable Tourism Quebec and works to protect the surrounding landscape in various ways, including an extensive recycling program, a wastewater management system (to ensure river water remains clean) and regionally sourced restaurant ingredients.


Indigenous Tourism in Canada

As well as working to minimise your environmental impact, sustainable tourism in Canada involves immersing yourself in the community and learning about local culture. And as one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, Canada is well-versed in indigenous tourism. Around two million indigenous people live in Canada today, with more than 50 traditional languages spoken within these communities. There are also increasing numbers of collaborations between indigenous communities and government agencies who are working on sustainable land management, wildlife conservation and cultural preservation. Travellers can support indigenous communities by taking part in cultural experiences, visiting museums and shopping at indigenous-owned businesses and farmers’ markets. Attending a Powwow (Indigenous gathering) in Calgary, ‘aurora hunting’ in Yellowknife or visiting an Indigenous historical site near Saskatoon are just a few examples of experiences that will allow you to see Canada from the perspective of those who know it best.

Written by Luisa Watts