UNBC Continuing Studies Presents, “Experiential Tourism”

UNBC Continuing Studies Presents, “Experiential Tourism”

By Tyson Kelsall, Culture Editor

The University of Northern British Columbia’s Continuing Studies department is offering up something out of the ordinary. It is based on the premise of education­focused travelling. With UNBC’s overall focus on bringing in more experiential learning, Continuing Studies has put a twist on this by calling the project Experiential Tourism. Within this program there are four trips being offered: Walk With Dinosaurs, Jetboat Photography, Some Like It Hot, and Ghost Towns. All but the first will be offered out of Terrace, BC.

Walk With Dinosaurs is being offered out of Tumbler Ridge in August, and is an opportunity for a group to explore the region with two paleontologists. Jetboat Photography is based around nature photography, where an experienced biologist will take a group on a boat trip to places otherwise inaccessible. Some Like It Hot is a five­day hot spring tour, where with each new day comes a new hot spring. A Princeton professor who has researched hot springs in BC will lead this. Lastly, Ghost Towns will be a tour of abandoned towns in British Columbia. This includes the remote towns of Kitsault and Anyox, which are barely accessible.

Rob Bryce, coordinator of Continuing Studies, said that he’s excited about the prospect of these programs. He says the focus will be on high­end education, adding that each program will have only eight to ten students, giving each person intimate time with the experts leading the tours. While Continuing Studies usually focuses on concrete professional development and certificate programs, Experiential Tourism is brand new. Bryce says this is unique in contrast to most practical field schools where faculty experts will leave their campus to go abroad and do work there. Experiential Tourism is more community-­based, with experts staying in and/or coming to the Northern BC area.

Courses will cost between $2,400 and $3,600, including luxurious meals and five­s-tar accommodations, according to Bryce. He says the target demographic will be people with a sense of adventure who are looking to add learning and engagement to their holidays.