Ecotourism and Reconciliation at The Parkside Hotel & Spa
At The Parkside Hotel & Spa, we take social and environmental responsibility very seriously. To better serve our community, we prioritize principles that allow for social and environmental responsibility to be at the forefront of our day-to-day operations.
One such principle is ecotourism. Ecotourism in Victoria BC unites conservation, sustainability and community. To provide a socially and environmentally responsible experience to our guests, we follow these key aspects of ecotourism:
• Delivering memorable experiences to visitors, raising awareness and support to our community
• Supporting the whole person, whether a team member or guest, inclusive of, social, behavioural, and psychological, to strengthen community
• Building environmental awareness
• Building cultural awareness
• Providing a positive work environment for our team
• Providing direct financial benefits for conservation
• Providing financial benefits to support our community
• Operating low-impact facilities
• Recognizing the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in the community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment
At the opening of The Parkside in 2009, we focused on the environmental aspect of our business, leading to conservation practices starting in 2018 with our carbon offsets. In 2021, we added the missing cultural piece we needed and are taking steps to reconciliation. The Parkside Hotel & Spa is the first hotel in Greater Victoria to sign a Memorandum of Reconciliation (MOR), becoming Friends of the Songhees Nation. Of important note, a MOR is not just a one-time process; it is ongoing, evolving, and growing with the guidance of the Songhees Nation.
Reconciliation for The Parkside is a tool to build and commit to meaningful consented relationships with the Songhees Nation. It is about The Parkside learning the history of and legacy of residential schools, along with customs and traditions. We started with the educational aspect for all of our management team, supervisors and green team by hearing and learning about the history of the land we work and live on from an elder of the Songhees. It was a wonderful learning experience that all of our team members will remember for a lifetime. Looking forward, we are committed to learning more about intercultural competency and continuing to foster a business model that is racially inclusive.
We acknowledge and respect the ləkʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory The Parkside Hotel & Spa stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.