Coast Salish Territories / Vancouver, British Columbia (January 19,2022) – A one-time allocation of $3.7 million will support Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) in leading the Indigenous tourism industry to its pre-pandemic levels of success by 2024.
“Before the pandemic, Indigenous tourism was one of the fastest-growing sectors of the tourism industry. This funding is a call to action from the sector to empower Indigenous communities to recover and grow so Indigenous cultural experiences can once again be shared with the world,” said Melanie Mark, Hli Haykwhl \Nii X_sgaak, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This funding supports self-determination, economic and cultural reconciliation and responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.”
As part of its Tourism Alignment Strategy, ITBC will support stakeholders and First Nation communities through capacity building and resilience funding to cultivate a prosperous and sustainable tourism industry. This funding will enhance Indigenous tourism by making tourism planning, training and mentoring services available to First Nation communities and businesses. It will provide support for Indigenous businesses to expand their reach through purchasing new digital and online tools, delivering training programs to assist businesses in developing marketable tourism products and working with interested First Nations to develop and market tourism experiences.
“For the next two years, ITBC is committed to make choices that bring benefits to stakeholders and Indigenous communities to support the recovery and strengthen competitiveness for the future,” said Brenda Baptiste, chair of Indigenous Tourism BC. “We value and appreciate the collaboration and partnerships that we hold with industry and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.”
ITBC’s Tourism Alignment Strategy focuses on creating alignment of Indigenous, provincial, regional and federal partners so ITBC can continue to improve British Columbia’s collaborative tourism network and support the expansion of tourism business activities by Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities over the next two years. Supporting this strategy will help numerous First Nations through tourism recovery in their communities.
Indigenous Tourism BC plays an essential role in facilitating a significant and positive impact on the recovery and resilience of B.C.’s Indigenous tourism businesses, operators and communities affected by the pandemic. ITBC ensures Indigenous tourism businesses are supported in their recovery from the pandemic and encourages the development of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism experiences for visitors. They also help generate bookings for market-ready businesses.