There is no magic bullet, but everyone has a job to do in protecting the most remote and precious destinations. Tour operators and guides must work together within their communities and with their competitors to create experiences that connect with guests — and send home passionate ambassadors to educate their communities.
“I go where the animals are,” said Hayley Shephard, an interpretive guide for some of the most remote and cherished destinations on the planet. Shephard spends the summers and fall working working with her longtime colleague and “boss” John Gunter, CEO of Frontiers North in the tiny subarctic town of Churchill, Canada. In the summer, Shephard guides kayaking trips to observe Beluga whales and in the fall polar bear excursions. Gunter and Shepard last week shared their unique views from the frontlines of the environment at Skift Global Forum in New York City.
Gunter, whose family has operated Frontiers North for 30 years, is hands-on in addressing the challenges of growing his boutique tourism company while working to preserve and protect the fragile subarctic community of Churchill.