Skip to content

New app to engage tourists with history, culture, environment of Revelstoke

Re:BC gives connects people looking for regenerative tourism with opportunities to do so
(Destination BC)

A new app called Re:BC recently launched presenting regenerative tourism opportunities in British Columbia and Revelstoke is part of the early list of locations.

Regenerative tourism can be defined as a more sustainable approach to tourism. It aims to shift the nature of tourism from an extractive process where visitors simply come and go with just an economic exchange to one where the tourists interact with the history, culture, and environment in the places they visit.

“We are working to create opportunities for people to engage with regenerative tourism across the province. And so, the idea behind that is providing ways for people to positively impact the communities that they’re visiting when they’re travelling,” said Hollie Galloway, project manager with Re:BC.

The app launched Monday, March 18, and so far, it has three different locations offering regenerative initiatives. The locations include Parksville Qualicum Beach, Squamish, and Revelstoke, but the group continues to reach out to different tourism organizations to expand the options.

Re:BC partners with destination marketing organizations to find new regenerative tourism initiatives like Tourism Revelstoke. Revelstoke was a source of inspiration for the app’s founding with its annual ‘Thanksgiving Back’ program.

“It was actually through a conversation with Revelstoke and learning more about the Thanksgiving Back campaign and how successful it had been, that inspired this initiative. So, from that, the question that we had was, how can we get more communities involved in this type of a project,” said Galloway.

READ MORE: Thanksgiving Back program doubles volunteer base, celebrates another successful year

In the Thanksgiving Back program, tourists in Revelstoke can volunteer their time to work on several initiatives in the region, from helping to rebuild mountain bike trails to working with the visual arts centre. In exchange for their work, the visitors receive money for their accommodation with local hotels.

Currently, the app offers several educational courses, which are rewarded by the app with a free pair of Woolies socks from Victoria-based clothier, Ecologyst.

“Everybody that completes one of the educational components, and visited the community, they can drop us their address, and we’ll mail them some woolly socks to thank them for making good choices,” said Galloway.

The app is in its early stages and the goal is to continue to scale up the initiatives and their respective rewards. Galloway said the choice to start with education was a strategic one.

“When people are visiting communities, often they don’t really know some of the ways that they’re having a negative impact. So, by trying to educate people about the community that they’re going to be visiting, the culture, the different communities, the different environmental concerns in that region, we’re hoping that people will make good choices,” she said.

“I do strongly believe that the majority of people don’t want to have a negative impact on a place that they’re visiting. They just don’t know how to go about not doing that.”

Starting with education, Re:BC will continue consultations with communities to make sure that the initiative offered aligns with the efforts of the community to create more sustainability.

Galloway aims for the shift to a regenerative tourism model to help offset some of the negative impacts of the industry.

“My hope is that as we start to move into a more regenerative framework, which supports all aspects of a community, social, cultural, ecological heritage is that tourism can be used for a net positive,” she said.

Re:BC is already available on smartphones. The current opportunities include Revelstoke’s very own, Sustain the Stoke, with more chances to start engaging with regenerative tourism in other regions also available.

READ MORE: Revelstoke Railway Museum welcomes new executive director in April