An Adventure Filled Ride

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: June 4, 2014

On a rainy day, Paula de Jong sat in the Squamish Adventure Centre and looked at the stream of cars heading to Whistler. There must be a way for those cars to turn left on Cleveland Ave, she thought to herself. Paula-pic

Ever since then, albeit in her own small way, Jong says she has made an effort in making Squamish a destination in itself.

Paula runs the Squamishadventure.com, a tourism-oriented website that is a one-stop shop for local adventures. With few clicks, it enables locals and tourist to book tours, find information on where to stay and eat, provide trail updates and information on local events and news stories.

“Squamishadventure.com is an information hub to showcase hidden gems of Squamish,” she says.

Paula de Jong first thought of carving a career in local tourism industry about four years ago. Born and raised in Ontario, Paula de Jong moved to Whistler to follow her dream of skiing and snowboarding.

After a travelling trip to Asia and a degree in SFU in economic development, she decided to make Squamish her base. She saw the town was changing from a resource based economy to a tourism-oriented economy.

In this transition, she sensed an opportunity and a tourism market that hadn’t yet been tapped.

While creating SquamishAdventure.com, she also realised there was no easy, one-spot access for tourists trying to access information or adventure packages.

Also missing was an online hub to promote the town all over the world as a destination in itself, not as a place on the way to Whistler.

Now, with over 2,500 likes on her Facebook, her company is finally getting attention from travellers and tourists.

The first two years were quite, but business picked up last summer, with strong results in the winter months as well.

“The phone was off the hook this summer,” she says.

She is also hopeful Squamish will able to pitch itself as a destination in itself to the world.

Next on the cards is Squamish Adventure episodes this spring and summer that highlight all the different sports and recreation available in the Sea to Sky country.

“We will create Squamish adventure episodes on mountain biking, kite-boarding, and hiking etc,” she said.  

She is also talking to Quest University students to see if the video series is a project they might be interested in. Her company also recently signed a new partnership with the Executive Inn Hotel.   

 

 

Comments

  1. TJay says:

    The thing is..Squamish is a ‘real’ town… Whistler as cool as it I, is a pseudo town. When I myself travel to view, I seek real stuff., not fake, made-up, titillating stuff.
    But yet, you can’t force people to do what their hearts desire as far as how they wish to spend their weekend.
    Loggers lane for example used to be occupied with loggers. Something to see for city slickers….And now they (loggers) have been puked on, and everyone goes along with that, ad nauseam.
    Gee I wonder why people don’t step in to watch the ‘new’ environmentalists in this town ? Such entertaining folks those ones are putting their lives on the line….. har hard… barf…..