Marine Park off Nanaimo enhances the visitor experience through Indigenous signage and storytelling.

The name of a destination weaves its story with its location, so when a place is renamed, there is more than just signs that need to change. The intended visitor experience is also redefined.

Just a short 10-minute ferry ride from downtown Nanaimo is a marine park that had been called Newcastle Island. It was recently renamed Saysutshun to reflect the name used by the Snuneymuxw, the local First Nation.

Image of a cedar tree, close up, with moss covered bark.

​Phil Clark, Operations Manager describes the changes to the welcome areas, including the Guest Services Centre. “We took an existing building that was open on the sides and enclosed it. It now has windows and floors, for a better visitor experience,” he says. The project includes touchstone kiosks production.

We worked with Elders to create video content for the touch screens

~ Phil Clark, Operations Manager

The content will tell the stories of the area, to enhance the visitor experience. The work included installation of 200 language signs, maps and trail upgrades, as well as purchase and installation of a welcome centre and tour booking office. The area from the ferry has also been resurfaced, making it more accessible for those with mobility issues.

People walking on a trail on Saysutshun

This family friendly park offers captivating views of the Coastal Mountains and the city of Nanaimo, as well as natural and cultural experiences for visitors. The completion of this project now supports walking tours, so visitors can learn, first-hand why this island has always had a special place in the hearts of the Snuneymuxw people.

Close up of a cedar branch with water droplets.

The funds that 4VI allocated to his project were received from the Targeted Regional Tourism Development(TRTD) Initiative.

The TRTD funding is a one-time grant to each of B.C.’s six tourism regions to establish targeted regional tourism development initiatives through community partnerships and leveraging other private and public funding sources. Funding supports the implementation, improvement and/or development of regional initiatives that target the following funding objectives:

  • Creates new employment opportunities and long-term tourism jobs.
  • Aligns with the priorities identified in the Strategic Framework for Tourism in B.C. and
  • Destination BC’s Corporate Strategy.
  • Encourages new business attraction and/or creates diversified economic opportunities.
Eco-Tourism | Indigenous Tourism

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