Celes Davar is a biologist, photographer, walker, and storyteller. Celes Davar is the owner and president of Earth Rhythms, an award-winning experiential tourism company that crafts custom experiences for travellers and groups and provides personalized experiential tourism coaching services and community training workshops for Canadian tourism sector partners.

January 4, 2022
Published by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia
Contributed by Celes Davar

Full Piece Available Here

Experiential Tourism is not just a tag line for Celes Davar, but rather a way of looking at the world, and by extension, a way of doing business.

Davar, a Fredericton, NB native, is the owner of Earth Rhythms, a 25-year-old business which focuses on offering visitors a “slow travel” experience: a chance to explore off the beaten path of typical travel-related activities.

A biologist by training, Celes spent 22 years working for Parks Canada – including being a Visitor Experience Manager at Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park. While there he started to look at the idea of how residents and the park could work more collaboratively, which ultimately led to a jumping ship of sorts at a time of life when most people are settling into careers, not abandoning them.

… Davar says he sees two seasons for tourism – the months when people come from away and what he refers to as “the season of community,” for locals.

During this season of community, not to be confused, he says, with the idea of winter tourism, individuals get a deeper dive into the communities they live in or visit. A walk in the woods is not just a walk, it’s an interactive experience, perhaps followed by a hands-on workshop with a local chef, finishing up with stories around a fire. A “dynamic dance,” says Davar, between what he can share and what people can experience.

“I don’t think we’ve gone very far on the curve of how to do tourism well. It has the potential to be a force for good. It has to be about more than just making money.”

Celes Davar

Looking at tourism as a whole, he feels metrics like receiving a living wage, being conscious to not exploit areas, and helping to contribute to a community’s overall well-being are a huge part of doing tourism well; lowering our footprint and not getting caught up in being a “disposable society.”

“We’re moving on this planet away from a linear economy towards a circular economy; and tourism has to move in that direction,” he says.

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On December 1, 2021, a group of concerned citizens met with Eastern Shore MLA Kent Smith to advocate for legally protecting Owls Head Provincial Park. Christopher Trider, Dr. Kristina Boerder, and Celes Davar spoke about the park network, the science, and new opportunities for the province.

This presentation proposed ways to ensure legal protection of the site’s significant conservation values, the wider park network, and important cultural landscapes (while still working towards a thriving Eastern Shore).

View the presentation here.

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