Featured Small Biz - Tours of Exploration

in Featured Small Biz

Catherine Evans, owner Tours of Exploration and Ammar Sultan, CFIB representative

Tours of Exploration has developed soft adventure, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, natural history, culture and ecotourism programs in Canada, Central and South America, Asia and the South Pacific. They have built up a solid reputation in the travel industry by delivering unique tours in a reliable, educational and enjoyable environment. You can check out Tours of Exploration’s profile on the Shop Small Biz website.

Ammar Sultan is the Tours of Exploration’s CFIB representative. If you would like to know how CFIB can help your business or would like more information about being profiled on the Shop Small Biz blog and you're in the West Vancouver to Lillooet and sunshine coast area, please contact Ammar Sultan at ammar.sultan@cfib.ca. If you aren’t in this area, please check out cfib.ca online or visit the Shop Small Biz directory, Canada’s only online directory that’s exclusive to small business and completely free to list.

Interview with Catherine Evans, owner of Tour of Exploration

What is the most popular item/service you offer?

While the most popular programs change each year, some of our top selling trips at the moment include active adventures in Peru, Chile, and Argentina, wildlife in Churchill or the Great Bear Rainforest, and cultural experiences in Myanmar and Indochina.

How do you feel your business supports the community?

In our local community, we are involved with an ecoliteracy field school. We share our knowledge and passion for a biologically sustainable world by participating in community events such as the Shoreline Cleanup, Bioblitz, and educational talks. Our rural cultural and educational tourism programs have provided skills development and local employment opportunities. In our role as consultants, we have conducted community research, developed strategic plans, and provided recommendations to municipal and regional governments.

In the global communities we visit, we follow United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) recommended behaviours to support our local guides and service providers. We also make donations to cultural and conservation projects within these communities.

We support other small business owners in the communities that we are privileged to visit. Having established these relationships over many years, we have become connected to the people behind these businesses, their staff, their families, and the personal realities within their communities. As a result, our customers become welcomed guests during their visit.

Why should Canadians visit your business? What makes your business great?

We are all over the map - literally - on all seven continents!

We have been a service business since 1986 and have weathered just about every possible business challenge in those 20+ years. Being 'small' has allowed us to be flexible and to adapt to changes in our industry. And perhaps being resilient and innovative we may be here for 20 more years! We are guided by a purposeful desire to make travel a vehicle of positive exchange between guest and host.

So, if the idea of sitting in an inflatable watching eight blue whales feeding, or watching the sun rise atop an ancient temple, or hiking before dawn in order to catch the mating rituals of a rare bird, or learning about ethno-botany from an Aboriginal elder – then we are good match. You will very likely have to step outside of your comfort zone at times but we believe your memories will be favourable and will last a lifetime.