As the project manager for Invest in Iconics, Dylan Rose will endeavour to use his extensive experience in complex engagement strategies. Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) has a strong role to play in taking action and making a significant impact in the recovery and resilience of the Indigenous tourism sector, operators and communities affected by COVID-19.
The Invest in Iconics project is identified as a priority initiative in the ITBC Indigenous Alignment Strategy 2021-2024: Pulling Together for Recovery. The Alignment Strategy notes that ITBC will work with Destination BC (DBC) as a true partner on the execution of the Iconics Place Branding and Place Making efforts by developing an MOU that outlines the leadership role ITBC will play in the Iconics execution; engaging in pre-planning, regional engagement, and execution; and building out BC’s iconic journeys, ensuring the Indigenous voice sets a strong foundation and Indigenous culture and tourism experiences are woven throughout.
The goal of the strategy is to increase both short- and long-term revenue to the visitor economy in BC through visitor dispersion both seasonal and geographical. To accomplish this growth and dispersion, Destination BC has developed an integrated approach which marries Place Branding (branding and marketing) with Place Making (destination development), focused on a small number of routes and places with the potential to be uniquely differentiated and globally compelling.
ITBC will partner with DBC on the Iconics strategy and will facilitate engagement with ITBC partners andStakeholders, with a focus on sustainable tourism growth and effective, meaningful, and respectful Indigenous engagement that are aligned with Indigenous values and principles.
As always, ITBC is mindful of the need to respect traditional territories and rights and will work with First Nations communities, businesses and the First Nations Leadership Council in this engagement process, to ensure full compliance with the UN Declaration and the BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
It must be noted that ITBC understands this activity as engagement and not consultation, as consultation activities must be directly undertaken by DBC with rights holders. It will not be ITBC’s role to be the main representative for, or to speak on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples of BC. Further, ITBC will not be leading broad Indigenous engagement beyond its partners and Stakeholders and will not be making decisions regarding the use of cultural heritage in marketing materials for the Invest in Iconics Strategy.