Indigenous Tourism Business Feature: Haida Style Expeditions, Haida Gwaii

Haida Style Expeditions, Haida Gwaii

Haida Style Expeditions does much more than take guests to Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. After a day taking a 28-ft zodiac to explore ancient poles, fallen long houses and giant cedars, visitors are enriched by Haida culture and stories, not to mention the traditional salmon feast at lunch.

With grants totalling about $15,000 ($7,000 from ITAC) Haida Style is developing more cultural content (including adult cultural immersion camps), creating cultural regalia for guides to wear and completing staff training and professional development. They’re also boosting their North American marketing.

“We were able to market in the US and Canada helping increase our client base and we’ve strategically advertised in local airports, BC Ferries terminals and with our local partners,” says James Cowpar who owns the company with his brother, William Cowpar. The identical twins are members of the Tsaahl Eagle Clan.

They’re working with local businesses on offering accommodations. “The partnership with Longhouse Lodge means we will be able to house up to a maximum of 12 guests and partnering with Swan Bay Rediscovery opens the door to overnight glamping opportunities,” says Cowpar. The company is also working with tourism agencies out France and the US.

“In forming partnerships with these new agencies we are witnessing more bookings from these regions and with positive exposure we have seen a 200 per cent increase in the number of local youth, elders and tourism professionals wanting to work with us,” says Cowpar. “The grants have helped our business grow.”

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