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Home > Tourism Victoria Blog > Conscious Travel in Victoria, B.C.

Conscious Travel in Victoria, B.C.

Posted on January 5, 2020

Travel today can offer visitors an opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the culture, food, history and connection of a place. It can also give travellers a new perspective, compassion, empathy and experiences not found in their day to day. However, with global tourism comes potential strain on a destination’s natural and historic infrastructure. By being conscious of the impact travel can have on a destination, savvy travellers can take a step towards mitigating their effect.  Here are some ideas on how you can be a conscious traveller.


1. Slow Travel

Slow travel is the concept of lingering in a new place to fully experience it. A destination isn’t just landmarks and iconic spots, it’s the people, the atmosphere and the general feeling a place offers. When you visit Victoria, find out why we’re the most walkable city by getting lost on foot in our beautiful streets and alleyways. Bask in the glow of “Island Time”, a phenomenon referring to our relaxed relationship with time. Discover why we’re among the friendliest cities in Canada when a barista remembers your order and name on your second visit. Linger in a cozy café instead of hurrying off and spend time wandering around farm-fresh fare at a local farmers market. Linger to experience Victoria, not just see it. 

Image by san.alvarez


2. Sustainable Choices

From choosing to stay at B.C.’s first Carbon Neutral Hotel, the Inn at Laurel Point, or committing to travel by foot, public transport or bike during your stay, there are a plethora of ways to minimize impact in Victoria. Victoria’s clever urban design has made it the most walkable city in Canada, and a bike-share, U-Bicycle, has bikes scattered strategically around the city for convenience. The Victoria Regional Transit System runs seven days a week serving the entire Greater Victoria region including the Victoria International Airport, all ferry terminals, the downtown core and western communities. Hike trails with guides to not only minimize impact but to also connect with the history and ecology of a place. 

BC Transit Victoria BC
Image via BC Transit


3. Nourish with Farm-to-Table Fare

Victoria has made a name for itself as a global contender in innovative culinary. With the mildest year-round temperatures in Canada, this enviable climate allows Vancouver Islanders to grow, harvest, nurture and prepare local dishes year-round. Our location on the tip of Vancouver Island in the Salish Sea gives local restaurants access to some of the freshest sea fare on earth. Opt for local food carefully foraged from land and sea to truly get a taste of a place.

Fairmont Empress Victoria BC
Image by Rebecca Wellman of @fairmontempress


4. Knowledge is Power

Education is key when it comes to mitigating the effects of over tourism. Destination Greater Victoria founded the IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism conference in 2018 as a gathering place to discuss the challenges and impact of global travel. Learning about more sustainable transportation, accommodation and experiences can help you make decisions on which businesses you support and how it goes a long way in reducing your overall impact. 

Image by @lukekonarzewski @nikkiriddy


5. Small changes, big impact

Save the planet and, let’s face it, money, by bringing along a reusable water bottle on your travels. If travelling by air, bring it through security empty and fill it at a water filtration station once inside the terminal. Or bring your travel mug so you can opt-out of a disposable cup for morning coffee to go. If you’re worried about luggage space, we recommend a collapsible coffee cup or water bottle.  Or instead of takeout, slow down and opt to eat in so you don’t come away with the packaging. 

Image by @viranlly


6. Geo-tags

Found an amazing sight off-the-beaten-track? Think about whether it has the infrastructure to support the traffic that could come from posting the location online. If not, use a general area geo-tag and let other fellow adventurers stumble upon it the same way you did. 

Image by @aidan.col 



Cover photo courtesy of Tara Hill Studios