This month, Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) signed two agreements with Provincial partners at its Annual General Meeting to help further grow Indigenous tourism experiences, and support Indigenous tourism businesses and economic opportunities, in British Columbia.
Renewed Indigenous Tourism Accord (Partner: The Province of British Columbia, represented by the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport)
Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in BC, contributing almost $9 billion to the economy. The Indigenous Tourism Accord aims to increase inclusiveness and raise awareness of the diversity of Indigenous cultures and communities in BC. The signing of this document marks a common vision for the Province of BC and ITBC to agree to work together and improve economic opportunities for Indigenous people.
“Signing the Indigenous Tourism Accord reaffirms the Province’s commitment to Indigenous Tourism and reconciliation,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “I’m honoured to continue to build on our strong partnership with ITBC and am proud of what our partnership means for the future of Indigenous tourism,” adds Beare.
Guiding Principles (Partner: Destination BC)
ITBC and Destination BC are collectively working to support Indigenous businesses to thrive and attract visitors to the province.
To achieve the goals of the renewed Indigenous Tourism Accord, Indigenous Tourism BC and Destination BC have created Guiding Principles to inform their continued collaborative partnership in supporting and shaping the tourism industry in BC now and for the future.
The Guiding Principles serve as a foundation for Destination BC and Indigenous Tourism BC to continue to respect Indigenous Peoples, cultures, and lands in a mutually cooperative and collaborative relationship that promotes the tourism industry in British Columbia in ways that benefit Indigenous Peoples. ITBC recognizes the long-standing, collaborative relationship with Destination BC as a key partnership in the expansion of Indigenous tourism in British Columbia.
Brenda Baptiste, Chair of Indigenous Tourism BC, is proud to support a sustainable and authentic Indigenous cultural tourism industry, supported by the longstanding partnership with Destination BC. “Our combined organizations can propel the development and enhancement of Indigenous-led tourism experiences that reflect Indigenous values, interests and goals, while building an inclusive, sustainable economy and environment,” says Baptiste. “We have a Stakeholder base of more than 200 Indigenous businesses across the province, and this commitment will provide support to these businesses and communities to recover from the pandemic, and expand the Indigenous tourism industry,” adds Baptiste.
“The signing of the Guiding Principles re-affirms our shared commitment to a unified tourism industry in BC; one that enriches experiences and connections that tourism provides, and that respects and provides benefits for Indigenous Peoples, cultures, and lands, for generations to come”, says Richard Porges, President and CEO of Destination BC. “Since its inception over 25 years ago, the long-standing relationship between Indigenous Tourism BC and Destination BC has continued to flourish, informing a leading and collaborative partnership that we look forward to building on in support of tourism in British Columbia.”
Together, the organizations are mutually responsible for achieving key actions outlined in the Declaration Act Action Plan to improve Indigenous Peoples’ lives and prosperity in British Columbia.
Commitments of the partnership:
Both Destination BC and Indigenous Tourism BC will collaborate with partners to market the “Super, Natural British Columbia®” brand and increase social, cultural, environmental, and economic benefits for Indigenous Peoples and all British Columbians.
The 2020 ITBC Labour Market Report showed in 2017, more than 400 Indigenous businesses in BC contributed to a gross domestic output of $705 million and 7,400 full-time jobs. The tourism industry is set to rebound strongly with increasing interest in authentic experiences from visitors. If goals are met, Indigenous cultural tourism could welcome 2.2 million visitors per year and help generate $1.5 billion in spending on travel.
Richard Porges, President and CEO of Destination BC
Joel McKay, Board Member, Destination BC
Sharon Bond, Board Member, Indigenous Tourism BC
Hon. Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport
[Photo credit: Nicole Gurney Photography]
Subscribe to our newsletter