Destination British Columbia, in partnership with Indigenous Tourism BC, is providing over $350,000 in funding to 33 community Visitor Centres across British Columbia through the Indigenous Learning & Projects Grant for Visitor Services. This application-based funding continues to support Visitor Centre staff in communities across BC to strengthen relationships and create opportunities for partners to collaborate and work together on impactful Indigenous focused projects, engaging activities, and training. These collective efforts will contribute to greater understanding of Indigenous culture, history, and the rich tapestry of Indigenous tourism offerings and experiences available in BC.
Collaborating with over 40 First Nations, the funded projects cover a diverse range of initiatives including Indigenous-led language courses and other training programs for staff, the installation of Indigenous welcome and land acknowledgement signage, development of interpretive kiosks, creation of digital content, installation of art pieces, Indigenous storytelling for visitors, and more.
This initiative builds upon Destination BC’s and Indigenous Tourism BC’s shared commitment to creating a unified tourism industry in BC. It aims to enhance culturally enriching tourism experiences and connections for visitors, while respecting Indigenous Peoples, cultures, and lands, and supporting Indigenous communities in growing Indigenous tourism through partnerships with Visitor Centres and their staff at the community level.
Visitor Centres serve as essential hubs for offering accurate, insightful, and timely travel information to those seeking to explore communities and enjoy enriching tourism activities in BC. In an average year, community Visitor Centres throughout the province collectively assist over 2.9 million visitors, at their physical locations, virtually, and across the community. Visitor Centre staff play an integral role as service delivery representatives, dedicated to thoughtfully sharing authentic tourism experiences and products.
The Visitor Centres receiving funding are part of Destination BC’s Visitor Services Network Program. Learn more about the Network Program, here: https://www.destinationbc.ca/what-we-do/destination-management/visitor-services/
Hon. Lana Popham, BC Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
“People want to participate in meaningful Indigenous experiences and have a deeper understanding of the people and places they visit. By supporting Visitor Centres with cultural training and enhancing Indigenous presence at Visitor Centres, we’re ensuring people throughout British Columbia and visitors to our province will have better access to Indigenous history and tourism opportunities and create meaningful connections.”
Paula Amos, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Indigenous Tourism BC
“Indigenous Tourism BC is proud to be a partner with an inclusive learning program that welcomes visitors in the local First Nations languages being visited. With more than 30 First Nation languages and more than 90 dialects to learn from, ITBC shares our gratitude to this program which contributes to greater awareness of identity to the diverse cultures across the province. These actions can be steps towards reconciliation through tourism. We stand in true partnership with Destination BC and all participating Visitor Centres.”
For more information about Indigenous Tourism BC please visit: https://www.indigenousbc.com/
Alison McKay, Vice President, Destination Management, Destination BC
“The second round of funding for the Indigenous Learning & Projects Grant for Visitor Services program is another step in our journey towards enhancing Indigenous cultural competence of Visitor Centre staff throughout BC, with a strong focus on sharing this growing knowledge with visitors. These projects will have a transformative impact on Visitor Centres as they strive to elevate their approach to visitor services delivery, grounded in a collective commitment to reconciliation and respectfully and appropriately sharing information about Indigenous culture, history, and tourism products.”
Subscribe to our newsletter