Coast Salish Territories: In November 2019, the BC Government announced funding for the Indigenous Tourism BC labour market project. This two-stage initiative will result in a new strategy setting the path to strengthen Indigenous tourism in British Columbia. Indigenous communities, Indigenous tourism businesses and those who support Indigenous employment in the tourism industry will be asked to participate in this research to support Indigenous people’s participation in the industry.
The project will build on the highly success AtBC Aboriginal Cultural Tourism Blueprint Strategy 2005 which was the first intensively researched Indigenous tourism plan in Canada. It became a revolutionary study to understand the Indigenous tourism sector and visitors’ interest in Indigenous tourism. The Blueprint Strategy was served as a guide for other regions and countries in the development of their Indigenous tourism sectors.
This labour research project realizes that Indigenous population is the fastest growing population in Canada, and in a country and economy where labour is in high demand and short supply, the tourism industry needs to ensure it is accessible and attractive to Indigenous people and that BC continues to be a leading region of Indigenous tourism. According to the province, Indigenous tourism contributes $705 million a year to BC’s economy, employing 7,400 people in more than 400 businesses.
To help grow the tourism sector the BC government announced $440,000 to conduct labour market research and develop an Indigenous tourism labour market strategy to address skills training for tourism operators and businesses. Brenda Baptiste, Chair for Indigenous Tourism BC says, “This important research will help us understand the barriers for Indigenous employment in the tourism industry and support the development of a strong foundation to grow Indigenous employment in the tourism industry.”
Funded through the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training’s Sector Labour Market Partnership Program, this project will:
The research will include surveys and community forums with Indigenous community, Indigenous leadership and Indigenous tourism businesses and those who work with, support and employ Indigenous people in the tourism industry. There will be a community forums in each of the six BC tourism industry regions and a Provincial Forum soon to be scheduled in Vancouver.
Registration for the community forums will be free. Please stay connected with us online. More information will be shared as we make plans for future forums.