Coastal Indigenous experiences are the fastest-growing segment of the regional tourism market.
The Huu-ay-aht First Nations have been investing heavily in assets that support an Indigenous tourism industry in their region, including purchases of the motel, pub, lodge and marina, and airport in Bamfield. Over the past year, the Huu-ay-aht have worked to develop a Cultural Tourism Destination marketing strategy, and connecting Bamfield with Anacla is an important piece of this work.
The 4.5km trail traverses a culturally-significant route, and include opportunities to participate in Huu-ay-aht guided tours, self-guided walks, and to visit the traditional capital – Kiixin – a designated National Historic site. Along the route, structures were built to resemble longhouses, featuring First Nations story and history panels with interpretive content about the local area, the Huu-ay-aht people, the cultural importance of cedar, and the archaeological sites at Kiixin. Designed to be an age-friendly ‘stroll’, construction of the Anacla-Bamfield trail included considerations for a variety of visitors such as persons with mobility aids and families with strollers.
The trail, completed in March 2018, helps to link tourism destinations and infrastructure in the region and offers visitors an authentic nature-based Indigenous cultural experience. The total tourism impact from the proposed Anacla-Bamfield Trail after 5 years is estimated at 2,360 visitor-days. Additionally, the project is estimated to create three new, permanent local jobs – a significant impact in a community of fewer than 230 residents.