By introducing the cycling tourism market into the region, the project is estimated to generate 25 permanent and 30 temporary jobs.
The Pacific Rim National Parks attracts close to a million visitors annually, with the District of Tofino serving as a popular jumping off point to explore the park. In 2017, A federal investment in the ʔapsčiik t’ašii Trail established a cycling path through the National Park, but stops short of connecting to Tofino’s existing multi use path by 2.8km. The remaining highway has little to no shoulder, and a high number of obstacles inhibiting visitors from safely venturing to the park without a vehicle.
The ʔapsčiik t̓ašii Connector Trail extends Tofino’s multi use path to the Parks Canada Trail, providing a safe, barrier-free trail to access the Pacific Rim National Park by foot or on bicycle. The project includes construction a 3 metre wide, separated asphalt pathway with culverted creek crossings, retaining walls and a pedestrian bridge. The connector also links over 40 kilometres of uninterrupted pathway for visitors to explore the Pacific Rim National Park in an entirely new way.
As a result of the new infrastructure, Tofino can market a new recreational amenity in the region and attract new markets in cycling and sustainable-tourism. Anticipated outcomes include increased length of stay and return visits; increased visitor spending; and diversification and development of new businesses such as shuttle services, bike shops and other services catering to trail users. The project will also enhance integration with the Tla-o-qui-aht communities of Esowista and Ty-Histanis — creating opportunities for collaboration in cycling and cultural tourism, while improving access to basic services and employment in Tofino. The project was completed in February 2021 with an official opening expected in the spring 2022.