Spirit Loop is a new tourism strategy developed by a group of western communities, encouraging tourists and local residents to explore the area.
Highlighting tourism destinations including Langford, Sooke, Port Renfrew and the Malahat, this is a collaboration between municipal and Indigenous governments from those regions.
The new initiative was started in 2019, but its rollout was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Langford Mayor Stew Young said the project would help the tourism industry, which has been struggling throughout the pandemic, revive itself.
“What we’re trying to do is promote an economic triangle to Sooke, Port Renfrew to Malahat through to Langford,” he said. “This is going to be a game-changer for tourism.”
The marketing campaign includes a travel documentary, hosted by Derek Juno, that showcases various tourism spots along the way on the Spirit Loop.
“I’ve been really, really lucky to do quite a bit of travelling in my life, I’ve been able to go to 40 different countries, live in Sweden, (and) live in Australia,” Juno said. “But I still think that this is the very best place in the world to live.”
One of the spots highlighted on the tour is the Malahat Skywalk, which recently opened in July, and is on Malahat Nation.
“It is great to see we are working together as one to grow the community and Vancouver Island tourism business,” Malahat Nation Chief George Harry said in a statement. “We are excited to invite people to see the beauty of Malahat Territory and the surrounding region.”
Young added the project would help with reconciliation and furthering Indigenous tourism. “It’s people getting together here, coming here and showing support for the Malahat Nation and their wonderful skywalk.”