Syilx Territory: Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) and the Province of British Columbia (the Province), represented by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, signed an Indigenous Tourism Accord at the International Indigenous Tourism Conference in Kelowna. ITBC acknowledges a long-standing positive working relationship with Destination BC over the last 20+ years.
Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the province, contributing $9 billion to the economy. The Indigenous Tourism Accord leverages the power of tourism to increase inclusiveness, promote Indigenous cultures, and preserve the rich heritage of the 203 Indigenous communities. By signing the document, the Province and ITBC agree to work together to improve economic opportunities for Indigenous people, and provide Indigenous-owned businesses with the resources, support and training required to enhance and accelerate tourism’s unprecedented growth in BC.
The Accord outlines key objectives developed by ITBC and the Province, including increased Indigenous participation in tourism; revitalization of Indigenous cultures, protocols and languages; and collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous tourism operators. The parties will also create a Partnership Group that includes representatives from ITBC, provincial ministries and Destination British Columbia and other Crown Corporations whose mandates support tourism. The Partnership Group will develop an implementation plan to translate the Accord into action, including terms of reference to guide its operations.
ITBC is a provincial cultural tourism organization that supports training, experience development and marketing of Indigenous tourism experiences and services on behalf of Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs across BC. For more information about ITBC, visit www.indigenousbc.com.
Brenda Baptiste, Chair, Indigenous Tourism BC
“Strategic and respectful Indigenous tourism development not only provides economic benefits through employment and entrepreneurship, but also grants visitors unique opportunities to learn about local history and culture. The Indigenous Tourism Accord marks an important step towards facilitating competitiveness of our province’s Indigenous businesses, thereby contributing to a more vibrant and well-represented tourism industry.”
Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture
“Indigenous tourism supports good jobs and economic development in communities across the province and provides opportunities for locals and visitors to learn about Indigenous culture and history. I am proud to reaffirm our commitment to working in partnership with Indigenous Tourism BC through the Indigenous Tourism Accord, as we continue on the path toward reconciliation and create a better future for everyone in our province.”
About Indigenous Tourism British Columbia:
Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) is a non-profit, Stakeholder-based organization committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry. Through training, information resources, networking opportunities and cooperative marketing programs, ITBC is a resource for Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities in BC who are operating or looking to start a tourism business. ITBC works closely with tourism, business, education and government organizations to help BC’s Indigenous tourism businesses offer quality experiences and actively promote these experiences to visitors and local residents. www.indigenousbc.com.