Sustainability & Responsible Travel

CapeRace offers meaningful, soft-adventure travel packages that bring Newfoundland’s rich history, performing arts and pristine wilderness together to create an "Eco-Culture Experience™". This experience occurs at the intersection of the Island’s unique cultural heritage, amazing wildlife and scenic wonders, appealing to the mind and soul of the curious traveler.

Our goal is to inspire activities that allow the traveler to become part of the communities they visit, while preserving and promoting the natural and cultural heritage of the Island. It is our belief that responsible travel ultimately produces the best travel experience-- that memorable life-changing travel experiences occur without the intervention of a tour operator or the deployment of intrusive traditional travel products.

In 2009 at the encouragement of Jonathan Tourtellot, National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations, CapeRace entered into a global tourism completion jointly sponsored by Ashoka Changemakers and the National Geographic. This request was based on our attention to an underlying theme of maintaining "the Sense of Place" of areas we operated in.  We understood earlier on that the delicate environmental and cultural assets of Newfoundland & Labrador were key success factors for our company and their stewardship had to be the foundation of any product or service we created. CapeRace went on to become became the founder of National Geographic's Newfoundland & Labrador Geotourism project, a global National Geographic initiative that assists travel destinations with conservation and sustainablity edcuation and awareness. The program defines "Geotourism" as tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place—its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents. Using the Geotourism concepts along with Destination Canada's strategic marketing direction, we deveopled a corporate strategy that enbraced a number of key sustainability and responsible travel concepts and practises. As a result, CapeRace was named a finalist in the Changemakers Geotourism Challenge 2010: Places On The Edge - Saving Coastal And Freshwater Destinations. We were amoung 12 finalists from 250 entries from 54 countries. See Adventure Travel News announcement>>

The following are excerpts from our submission, however, the full application can be seen on the Ashoka Changemakers website.

"... Our goal was to create a sustainable enterprise that delivers authentic travel experiences while contributing to the long term protection of Newfoundlands living cultures, heritage places and environmental context. CapeRace offers meaningful, outdoorsy, soft-adventure travel packages that bring Newfoundland’s rich history, performing arts and pristine wilderness together to create an "Eco-Culture Experience™". This experience occurs at the intersection of the Island’s unique cultural heritage, amazing wildlife and scenic wonders, appealing to the mind and soul of the curious traveler. Sense of place, the “geographical character” of our destinations, is highlighted through the encouragement of traveler participation in the local community—a participation on one’s own terms and own time, located in an authentic, sustainable setting. Travellers stay at restored indigenous homes on an exclusive–use basis, using the self-directing guidebook to explore unique and out-of-the-way nature sites, pubs, music venues, and heritage attractions. Our goal is to promote and preserve the natural and living cultural heritage of the Island, celebrating “what is” and not trying to create what we think “should be”. Our goal is to inspire activities that allow the traveler to become part of the communities they visit, while preserving and promoting the natural and cultural heritage of the Island.

It is our belief that responsible travel ultimately produces the best travel experience-- that memorable life-changing travel experiences occur without the intervention of a tour operator or the deployment of intrusive traditional travel products. Based on this critical premise we have designed an approach to self-guided travel that combines a commercial-grade guidebook written specifically for the visitor’s tour with the restoration of at-risk historic coastal homes. Travellers become integrated into three different communities and celebrate the Island's biodiversity as the guidebook covertly introduces them to persons who have a story to tell, music to play, or a personality representative of the local culture. Because we print a new guidebook for each individual trip, we can move people and places in and out of the guide, creating a less concentrated traveller’s footprint while spreading economic benefits wider. As new people and places are discovered, we move them into the guide allowing our customers first opportunity to have the "Eco-Culture Experience™.” And because CapeRace restores and manages the historic homes, the stay experience remains consistent with the local community..." read more...