Sustainable Rural Tourism
Sustainable rural tourism involves the appreciation and stewardship of the natural, cultural and historic resources and special places. It results in a net benefit for the social, economic, natural and cultural environments of the areas in which it takes place.
Sustainable rural tourism in the Beaver Hills Biosphere involves:
- Nature-based Tourism, which includes Ecotourism, Adventure Tourism, and Wildlife Tourism
- Heritage/Cultural Tourism which includes Aboriginal Tourism
Nature-based tourism is any sustainable tourism activity or experience that is directly related to natural attractions or the natural environment, whether for relaxation, discovery or adventure. Nature-based tourists want to know that their activities are sustainable and that future generations will be able to enjoy what they came to see.
Nature-based tourism introduces nature through a lens of appreciation, education, sustainable use and low impact design in well-placed locations throughout the Beaver Hills.
The Beaver Hills have a rich human heritage with many heritage organizations, municipalities, cultures and tourism associations involved in interpreting the history and settlement of the region through museums, preservation of historic buildings, churches, commemorative cairns and structures, and through active interpretive and education programming such as that found at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. All of these allow visitors to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present.
Agri-tourism provides direct involvement between the tourist or consumer and the agricultural community. There are six major berry farms that produce and retail berry products, 10 garden centres (greenhouses/nurseries), six farmers’ markets held in areas within and just outside of the Beaver Hills, three locally produced meat processors/retailers, and six local recreation centres/arenas that support gymkhanas and local events throughout the year.