Friday, June 17, 2016

Ecotourism Webinar July 13 at 12 Noon CST - Developing Unique Alternative Accommodations

FREE Webinar on Developing Unique Alternative Accommodations

Presenter: Join Amanda Huculak, Project Manager of Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES) and owner of Travel Roots, a socially responsible travel company, as she takes you on a journey to discover what makes accommodations unique and memorable. She'll provide insight from her own travel experiences as well as provide a variety of Best Practices from around the world.
What you will learn:

  • Discover Best Practices in unique accommodations throughout the world
  • What it takes to stand out from your competition
  • How to draw tourists in to your rural accommodation options
  • What is needed to start your own business


Where: At the comfort of your desk! – Details will be sent upon registration

For more details please contact CES at 1-877-444-5550 or email

Share your Story with the World - Digital Storytelling Project!

We're happy to announce that we'll be offering Digital Storytelling Projects through our Cultural Preservation Initiative starting at only $4,500! 

This is an amazing opportunity to:

  • Celebrate and preserve your community's unique culture and heritage
  • Record and document stories about your culture, traditions and language
  • Map and share the spirit and identity of your people
  • Create a digital living museum of your community
  • Develop an innovative app that showcases stories from your past, present, and future
  • Engage youth & elders and everyone in between in protecting your culture
Call Amanda to apply at 1-877-444-5550 or email her at

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tourism Excellence North Brokers Meeting - June 8, 2016

Announcement: There is going to be a Tourism Excellence North Brokers Meeting at Old Fort William on Wednesday June 8th from 9:30am to 4pm.

The meeting is free to attend and is most relevant to tourism stakeholders from the region, in particular provincial and federal tourism advisors municipal staff, economic development officers, destination marketing organization staff, sector organizations and others who are on the ground and in the field supporting tourism operators, destinations and communities as a regular part of their everyday job.

The Tourism Excellence North (TEN) program was presented at the 2016 NOMA Conference this year and is a tourism development program for Northern Ontario, inspired in part by the success and impact of a similar program led by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in Atlantic Canada. TEN is a suite of 10 training solutions designed to strengthen the ability of tourism operations to respond to changes in the marketplace, adapt to quality visitor expectations, develop innovative experiences that raise the bar on visitor value and deliver increased returns for operations and the destination as a whole. TEN strategically guides investment into tourism development holistically over the long term. TEN is aligned to support priorities for tourism development in Northern Ontario, specifically those of Tourism Northern Ontario (TNO) and Explorer’s Edge (EE). TEN also supports and aligns with service quality enhancement and visitor experience priorities of Canada’s Federal Tourism Strategy: Welcoming the World and Ontario’s Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. Initiated in September 2014, the final plan, completed in February 2015 is supported by a 3-­year implementation plan. 

For more information visit their website at

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How to Start an Ecotourism in 1 Day

You are invited to the following event:
Event to be held at the following time and date:
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EDT)

To Register click here

How to Start an Ecotourism Business in 1 Day
What you will learn how to:
  • The process of what you need to start a grassroots ecotourism business
  • How to get your business ‘market ready’
  • Market your business online and reach your target audience
  • How to work effectively with tourism businesses, organizations, & your community

 Where: At the comfort of your desk! – Details will be sent upon registration
Who: Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES) is a tourism and community development firm with over 18 years of Indigenous tourism development. We specialize in planning, business development, coaching & training, cultural preservation projects, cultural village development, cultural digital apps and marketing and branding. 
Tired of the same old methods and consultants? -  Join us and discover why we are one of Canada’s premier firms working with Indigenous communities across Canada and around the world.

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter

We hope you can make it! If you have any questions give us a call at 1-877-444-5550.

Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

In Remembrance of Sherman Herodier - An Amazing Soul that Touched all of our Lives

Not too many times in your lifetime you come across special people that make an impact on your life. Our team at Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES) have all had the privilege to have met Sherman Herodier. We all had more than just a working relationship with him. We all consider him a close friend and an Elder that we can all look up to.  Each of us always looked forward to connecting with him and his amazing sense of humour always made our day. He was a strong Cultural Ambassador in Eeyou Istchee and spoke so highly of preserving his culture for future generations. His kind soul has touched all of us and we will always remember him.

Here are a few words from our team…

“I guess I knew that Sherman and I would be lifelong friends when he trusted me enough to give me a Cree nickname. After a week together in Waskaganish, Sherman looks at me and says 'Jason White . . . White . . . . hmmmm, Gawabaitch (don't quote me on the spelling), and then he and the other guys all laughed. I figured they just thought it was funny that I now had a new name in Cree.  It wasn't until a couple of days later that my friend Paul Diamond said to me 'you know that nickname Sherman gave you? Well, it doesn't exactly mean 'white' like the colour.' I had be duped! But by a sweetheart of a guy.

And then a couple of months later I'm at the Air Creebec gate getting ready to board around 7:00 am, and I hear 'hey, Gawabaitch' . . . and as I stood up to go and see my friend Sherman at least 30 Cree people looked at me and started to laugh, lol.  Not in a mean way of course.  I'm going to miss him.” – Jason White

“Every time I think of Sherman, I have a smile on my face. I feel so grateful to have known him. He was such a kind and loving soul and I’ll always remember him.” – Amanda Huculak

“We at the CES were all greatly touched in different ways by Sherman and are so saddened by his passing. He was what we all hope to be when it comes to being a humanitarian.  His spirit will rest high in all of us. Rest in the highest spirit Sherman, and when we live our life true and strong we will think of you old friend.” – Clinton Belcher

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Our Corporate Social Responsibility - CES Gives Back!

CES has provided over $100K in funding for Indigenous Communities to develop tourism across Canada

CES has over 19 years of experience working with Indigenous communities across Canada and abroad on grassroots community-based projects. Our team shares a passion for helping communities move forward with various projects and we offer a variety of different programs where we donate in kind services to help bring projects to life. We tend to operate more as a social enterprise than a profit driven business. We value the relationships with each and everyone of our clients which sets us apart from your typical consultant.

We thought we would share some of the results of our past programs and initiatives that we have done in the past and the communities that we helped along the way. All in all we have contributed through our Corporate Social Responsibility over $100K to 33 communities across Canada. Here are just a few of the programs and the impact that they have had on communities in Canada.

The Community Needs Assessment Program (CNAP)

This program is perfect for those communities interested in defining their potential for viable tourism businesses in their community. It includes all costs covered for an on-site visit to the community where someone from our team will assess the tourism potential of the community and will meet with leadership to exchange ideas and discuss options for moving forward. We then prepare a brief ‘go forward/next steps’ strategy as well as provide options for funding to move projects forward. This has been a successful project and we have visited 8 communities across Canada over the past 4 years. Some of the recent communities that have been approved for this program and have moved forward with tourism initiatives are:
  • Seine River First Nation
  • Kitselas First Nation
  • Six Nations Tourism
  • Magnetawan First Nation
  • Georgina Island First Nation
  • Wikwemikong First Nation
  • Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point
  • Tulita Development Corporation

The Cultural Preservation Initiative (CPI)

This program provides up to $10,000 in funding towards the development costs of the My Community App Project. The My Community App project shares the spirit and identity of your community using digital storytelling on an engaging interactive App. It uses videos, images, maps, and written stories that share the culture and history of your community told by the community. We provide the training, the resources and the knowledge for this project and it is meant to be grown and added to for years to come. We target the Youth, the Elders and everyone in between to contribute to this exciting project. We have now implemented projects across Canada in Georgina Island First Nation, Seine River First Nation, Moose Cree First Nation, Chesterfield Inlet, West Moberly First Nation, and Kitselas First Nation. Here’s what Web Bennet from Kitselas First Nation had to say about this exciting project -

Tourism Feasibility Study Program

Throughout the years we continue to adapt our programs and have determined that Feasibility Studies are great ways to kick start tourism initiatives in order to determine if they are viable options for a community.  We wanted to work with communities to ensure a project is feasible before investing a great amount of resources into concepts.  So in the Fall of 2015 we started the Tourism Feasibility Study Program that provides up to $5,000 in funding for professional fees towards the costs of developing a Feasibility Study. So far we have 2 successful Clients that are moving forward with their projects. Due to the need and success of this program we decided to implement it again in 2016 and are now accepting applications for it. For more info please contact

In addition to our funding programs we offer a variety of complimentary services to our Clients such as Free Webinars and Proposal Writing.

To stay informed about our new programs and funding programs follow us our social media sites:

Thursday, March 31, 2016

‘Aiming’ for the Future of Indigenous Tourism in Canada

Having worked in the Indigenous Tourism Industry in Canada for over 19 years, Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES)’s CEO, Clinton Belcher created an innovative approach that combines new age technology with grassroots cultural entrepreneurs. This idea has more of less been an approach that CES has recommended to their clients for a long time, however the addition of new technologies has taken it to the next level.

Here’s some background on the concept…

Retention of culture has become an issue for many indigenous communities throughout the world and there is a critical need for opportunities and innovative models to integrate culture into community life. The tourism industry presents a unique opportunity to preserve culture and educate visitors about the rich culture, history and traditions of the past, present and future.

CES’s Pando Terra™ model represents the root for sustainable community development by way of community initiatives and projects’ encouraging community advancement, and allowing for true grassroots growth to take place. Pando Terra™ is an organic process of economic development in harmony with cultural traditions.  Rather than focusing on tourism development as a catalyst for growth, tourism will develop naturally as a secondary outcome of a solid community platform. People will want to know more about the community and learn about the people and their culture. This has led to an increased demand for entrepreneurial programming support, leading to the need for controlled growth and well thought out marketing and development strategies.

This becomes the kind of ‘experiential’ tourism being highlighted throughout Canada; the kind of tourism that has existed in many parts of the world for years, and is branded ’Spontaneous Tourism’ by CES.

Tourists want to experience diverse cultures; to eat, live in, and explore a new place for a short time, and not necessarily participate in any specific ‘tourist’ activity. The importance of the need to support the community first before commercializing the culture needs to remain the priority.  Pando Terra™ supports this model and promotes responsible sharing of culture and product offerings.

The Cultural Entrepreneur…

Many Indigenous communities already have passionate individuals in their communities that enjoy sharing their culture and knowledge with visitors. These community members can be storytellers, guides, fishermen, artists, singers, dancers, wood carvers, artisans, cooks, and more!

However, these particular individuals may not have their own business and are unaware of how to market themselves and reach out to potential visitors. So there is a large communication gap and missed business opportunities in each community.

Creating ‘packaged moments’…

This led CES to creating a model that celebrates individual Cultural Entrepreneurs under one community platform, known as the Authentic Indigenous Moments (AIM™) Model. The main objective is to empower local community members to share their culture and do what they are passionate about, whether it is guided experiences on the land to learn traditional survival skills, how to make the best bannock, or sitting around a fire telling stories and legends of the past. The community has individuals that are looking for these types of opportunities, however many are overwhelmed with the process of starting their own business. This approach allows cultural entrepreneurs to share their knowledge, skills and passion with visitors.

The purpose of the AIM™ is:
  • To create a clear tourism identity
  • To create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities
  • To provide a centralized web portal for visitors
  • To create mobile connections between the visitors and their hosts
  • To maximize marketing activities

Use a Digital Destination Strategy…

The use of an interactive web platform is vital to the success of this approach. A community has the opportunity to promote their tourism experiences through a centralized node that is accessible on all devices such as desktop computers, mobile and tablet devices. A great feature for this approach is that visitors also can navigate the different tour options, write reviews, and book online with ease. Each Cultural Entrepreneur is featured on the site, so that the potential visitor can begin to develop a relationship with this individual and learn about them before even meeting them in person. It is a self-regulating system that is based on reviews, which places pressure on each entrepreneur to be a great host to visitors.

Some of the benefits of AIM™ include:
  •  Creates personalized, high quality, independent cultural tourism activities for the region
  • Acts as an incubator to encourage entrepreneurs
  • Offers additional income to community members
  • Provides additional marketing services for the region, the communities and its existing businesses
  • Provides a ‘one stop shop’ for visitors wanting to visit the region

All and all, this project offers amazing benefits to the community using a low impact and cost-effective approach. For more information on AIM™ and how to get started contact us at