Atlantic Canada Voices IV: Trout Point Lodge
We conclude our series of Atlantic Canada Voices by chatting with Patrick and Pamela Wallace, owners of the multi-award winning luxury wilderness resort and hotel Trout Point Lodge, Nova Scotia, Canada.
For Trout Point Lodge, what is sustainable tourism?
Sustainable tourism is a mindset that guides everything we do. We make conscious efforts to minimise our carbon footprint, increase our self-sufficiency, to make decisions with our environment and surroundings as our highest priority. Our wilderness setting is a big part of the appeal of Trout Point Lodge, and we do everything possible to make sure we are responsible custodians of this pristine environment. We also strive for our guests to learn something new in nature during each visit by offering complimentary guided experiences and activities that are included with every stay. We believe these learnings and experiences enable a better understanding and appreciation of the importance of sustainability.
You are the world’s first certified Starlight Hotels by the UNESCO partner Starlight Foundation. What does this mean? How did you achieve the certification?
We led the certification for the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores region and hosted the researchers who came to evaluate the region’s candidacy. After spending time experiencing Trout Point Lodge, the representatives from the foundation proposed making the Lodge the introductory member. We were proud that Trout Point Lodge’s Astronomy programme and infrastructure were held up as good examples for others to follow.
Can you explain some of the features of the eco-focused design of Trout Point Lodge?
Trout Point Lodge was designed with sustainability in mind. One example of this is our open breezeways and covered patios throughout the Lodge, which provide natural breezes and shade in the summer months. These design features negate the need for air-conditioning and its drawbacks in terms of noise and energy consumption.
Can you give examples of your outdoor experiences?
Forest Bathing and Stargazing are two of the most popular activities, and are always guest favourites. In addition to our guided activities, guests often tell us that the opportunity to be alone and undisturbed in the quiet of nature is one of their favourite experiences here too.
Amongst other awards, you have received a 5 Green Key rating from the Green Key Global program, and a 5-star rating from Eco Hotels of the World. How did you achieve all these awards?
We underwent an extensive audit and evaluation that covered every aspect of our operations. We benefitted a lot from the process as it helped us to identify things we could do better and differently to improve our sustainability efforts.
How do locals benefit from your tourism initiatives, and how has Covid affected this?
We were fortunate to have so many local guests this past year, many of whom visited us for the first time. We have dozens and dozens of local partners from farmers to fishers to craftsman, and we treasure these relationships. It helps our sustainability efforts to be able to source high-quality products locally, and reduces our overall carbon footprint significantly. We’ve continued to grow through the pandemic, and have been fortunate to hire many local residents, who make an impact every day. We are proud of our team and their shared commitment to sustainability.
In these times of Covid, what precautions are you taking to help protect visitors?
We follow all public health guidelines in terms of social distancing, occupancy limits on public spaces, sanitising and wearing masks. Adhering to Covid regulations has been easier for us than most properties, due to our small and intimate size and expansive natural setting.