Project Title:

Educational Tourism Regional Marketing (West Coast NEST)

Project Organization:

Clayoquot Biosphere Trust

Project Investment:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $29,000
  • Clayoquot Biosphere Trust: $5,000
  • Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations: $6,000
  • Yuulu?it?ath Government: $6,000
  • District of Ucluelet: $6,000
  • District of Tofino: $6,000
  • Total Budget: $58,000

Project Highlight:

Over 30 community organizations and businesses are featured on the website as regional partners.

The west coast of Vancouver Island has a thriving summer tourist season, but shoulder and winter seasons are significantly less busy. To help address this, the region’s communities and Indigenous peoples developed an educational asset inventory, step-by-step strategy and market development plan to grow education tourism on the West Coast. Building on this preliminary collaboration process, also supported by ICET, phase two implemented a regional marketing project.
Led by the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, the project created the assets required to market and promote educational tourism at a regional scale, while building on the recommended market development strategies. This included creation of a highly-visual website to promote educational tourism opportunities; development of marketing tools and resources available to all stakeholders; and a social media marketing campaign. It also included graphic and communications content that builds a strong, unique brand.
The result of this project is the Westcoast NEST (Nature Education Sustainability Transformation) website: To date, the website is home to more than 166 education courses and over 500 advertised events. Early outcomes have resulted in new off-season opportunities for local educators and knowledge holders, while drawing visiting learners into remote Indigenous communities. In addition, the project has strengthened partnerships with local non-profits, small businesses and visiting academic institutions, resulting in new pilot programs with Royal Roads University and the University of Victoria.

Island Coastal Economic Trust approved funding for this project in 2018 through the Investment Readiness program.