It’s Friday, April 9th and I have ignored this blog for a week! But with a good purpose for my rural tourism followers all over.
I have traveled to, presented at and attended BC Canada’s first ever Rural Tourism Conference. I am invigorated by the people I have met and the rural tourism expertise they have shared.
What a week! I’ve stayed in a beautiful setting at South Thompson Lodge, met amazing people, tackled a climbing wall in honor of my 64th birthday.
Here’s the plan for getting back to regular blogging about my experiences here:
British Columbia is still a little short on wifi once you leave urban centers. That’s one of the reasons I have been silent this past week. So I will be posting about my experiences and new insights gleaned from the conference beginning next week.
Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:
At the opening welcome, we were told that the conference would be devoted to managing rural assets, marketing them and essentially preserving and sustaining them. Tall order for two and a half days, but with the lineup of speakers (me included), Thompson Rivers University sent attendees home with much to think about and do relating to each of these goals.
Over the next few weeks I’ll introduce you to Nicole Vaugeois of Vancouver Island University and her extensive experience with rural issues. What she calls a “rural lens.”
I’ll give you a taste of the work of a remarkable futurist, Anna Pollock, who brings a deep knowledge of rural tourism together with a vision of “sustainability” that makes sense to we rural tourism people.
I’ll pass on some toolkits for implementing successful farm tours and for using Google maps in a whole new way.
I’ll take you on a tour of some of southern BC’s rural communities, giving you a glimpse of their best practices.
For American rural communities, I’ll be talking about the effective working relationships I saw between BC’s Aboriginal communities (how they refer to Native Americans) and their local settler populations.
But for now, I’m off on the TransCanada Highway, destination, Hope BC. We’ll be looking at a number of small communities along the way and will have much to report.