Sea Kayak Operators Association (SKOA) – The sea kayak operator association was created in part to formalize the collaboration between sea kayak operators that has been ongoing for decades. Sea kayak operators have worked together to protect critical natural regions where they operate, develop best practices specific to their industry, share information and resources, and to address important events that impact their industry and the wilderness tourism industry at large. SKOA unifies the voices of operators in the identification and advocacy of projects for the sea kayak industry. Formed in January 2021, the Sea Kayak Operators Association is open to all sea kayak tour operators in British Columbia and has a management team of eight member companies.
Mission Statement: To build a strong industry association for sea kayak tour operators and advocate on their behalf with governments, communities, and other organizations.
Eligibility: To be eligible to join the SKOA you must be an active Sea Kayak Tour Operator, operating in accordance with all licenses required for your region (ex business license, park permits, etc)
Membership: To be a member of the sea kayak operators association you are required to be a member of the Wilderness Tourism Association (WTA). No additional fee over and above the WTA membership fee is required for 2021. You can learn what the benefits of a WTA membership are and how to become a WTA member by clicking “Become a Member” below. You can also reach out to the SKOA by email if you wish to inquire about on going projects or ideas.
**Please note that this fee structure will be reassessed in twelve months. If you are experiencing financial challenges due to Covid and would like to join please contact the WTA for options.**
Benefits of SKOA & WTA Collaboration
The decision to team with the WTA for the formation of the SKOA was strategic. Beyond the two organizations having similar interests regarding advocacy, stewardship, and leadership within the wilderness tourism sector, this collaboration enables SKOA to leverage the WTA’s expertise in many areas, while minimizing administrative functions and costs.
– SKOA will identify issues that are specific to the sea kayaking sector and create action plans to address, leveraging the WTA resources where appropriate
– SKOA can create protocols that the industry deems necessary such as those developed in 2020 Covid-19
– In the event of a crisis (i.e. an incident such as a collision between a boat or marine mammal and a kayak) SKOA will be able to leverage the expertise and resources of the WTA
– As the organization grows, the pursuit of sector specific marketing, project grants, and other areas beneficial to members will be identified
– WTA is actively addressing the tourism specific issues including forestry stewardship, pipelines, land tenure, and open-net salmon farms
– WTA has lobbyist status for direct communication with Government
– WTA has representation in tourism organizations such as the Adventure Tourism Coalition of BC
– WTA has ongoing advocacy and communication with the broader range of wilderness tourism operators in BC identifying common issues and opportunities
As this collaboration model is new for both the SKOA and the WTA, the initial time frame for this collaboration is one year after with both organizations will reassess the benefits and determine the future direction.