One of the organizations that is powering BC’s growing Indigenous economy and cultivating innovation is Indigenous Tourism BC. As a non-profit, Stakeholder-based organization, Indigenous Tourism BC is committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry. Through training, information resources, networking opportunities and marketing programs, Indigenous Tourism BC is an important resource for Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities in British Columbia who are operating or looking to start a tourism business.
As of last fall, it boasted over 200 Indigenous tourism businesses and a growth of 85% over the past 20 years. At that point it was “one of the fastest growing industries in BC, with Indigenous tourism businesses contributing $705 million each year to the provincial economy” according to Brenda Baptiste, Chair of Indigenous Tourism BC. “We are so proud of our communities and stakeholders who have dedicated their time to bringing Indigenous cultural experiences to life for visitors” she shared.
Due to COVID-19, Indigenous tourism has felt the impact of reduced travel and many Indigenous businesses are deciding how and when to re-open to visitors. With responsible tourism now the expectation, Indigenous tourism is once again poised to reinvent itself, grow, and support BC’s economy by creating more jobs for Indigenous people and other BC residents through their activities.
At the 2019 Indigenous Business Award Gala, Indigenous Tourism BC was featured in IBA’s inaugural ‘Spotlight Series’ developed to honour and celebrate those organizations who play a vital role in cultivating innovation and powering BC’s growing Indigenous economy.