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Haida Gwaii taking measured approach to welcome British Columbians back

Last Updated Jun 15, 2021 at 6:31 pm PDT


Haida Gwaii using the return from the pandemic as a way to reinvent tourism to their region when they reopen to visits

President of the Haida Nation says they're asking potential visitors to sign a pledge before they come

HAIDA GWAII (NEWS 1130) — The remote community of Haida Gwaii is taking a cautious approach to how it welcomes visitors back now that tourism is allowed in B.C. again.

As of Tuesday, recreational travel is once again allowed within the province and locals are now able to visit health zones outside of their own.

But Haida Gwaii is asking people to hold off until July 1 — using this restart as an opportunity to ask visitors to be mindful of the way they approach traveling there.

“We ask people to be respectful of our timeline,” Haida Nation President Jason Alsop says.

But before anyone arrives, Alsop is asking tourists to sign a community pledge that explains the region’s history and lays out what’s expected of visitors.

“If you’re coming here, I hope people really come for just the experience just of being here, being outside in nature, of the open spaces on the beach, and that it’s not a place to come and extract and to take.”

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Alsop says this includes being considerate of the limited medical resources and being aware of limited transportation to and from Haiga Gwaii, only a few flights a week and ferries on a winter schedule.

To that end, they’re asking people to voluntarily disclose whether they’ve been vaccinated or not, saying they’d prefer people who visit to have had the shot.

And when people do arrive, Alsop says tourists are going to have to be patient as everyone in the community finds their footing in this new time.