New BC travel app offering rewards for local visitors

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A new travel app for BC hopes to encourage sustainable travel by offering tangible incentives when tourists actively engage with the communities they’re visiting.

Re:BC is an online travel resource in Revelstoke, Squamish and Parksville Qualicum Beach that gives visitors community-led opportunities to learn about their destinations.

According to project manager Hollie Galloway, the app revolves around an idea called regenerative travel but goes “beyond just sustainability.”

“Sustainability is about making sure that things don’t get worse like maintaining the status quo, and regenerative tourism is about trying to actively positively impact communities through tourism,” Galloway said.

The app includes a destination information quiz, which essentially teaches visitors about the communities they visit so that they can be as informed as possible about the destinations and make sure to limit their ecological footprint.

“[The app is] inviting tourists to come into a community but to actually positively engage with the community while they were there,” said Galloway.

“You will be able to learn about the First Nations in the area, the communities, their languages, their lands, then you’ll learn more about the culture of the area itself.”

There will also be a chance to support the local businesses in each area with the app, including the sustainable businesses around each location.


Part of the quiz will involve learning about the challenges each community faces so that visitors can also help mitigate their own contribution. Galloway shared how Squamish is one area in particular that is facing tourism challenges.

“Squamish is having challenges with too many people sleeping in vans or people out on the trails [who are] not dealing with their waste properly,” she said.

“The majority of visitors to our communities don’t want to have a negative impact on the places they’re visiting. But inevitably, sometimes they do just through ignorance or otherwise.”

Currently, the app is offering free woolly socks from a local business in Victoria called Ecologyst as a mini reward for people who complete the destination quiz.

Galloway shared that they are hoping to expand the incentives over the summer to include free hotel stays as well after an initiative in Revelstoke saw a positive impact from people engaging in trail building in exchange for a two-day hotel stay.

“It just seemed really, you know, positive thing for everybody involved. And we thought, is there a way that we can take the spirit of that and spread it further across the province?” she said.

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