SUMMER OF EXPERIENCES
Indigenous Tourism BC Prepares for Banner Year with New and Revitalized Initiatives
People participate in ceremony in a Longhouse.
JORDEN HUDSON—HANDOUT PHOTOS
Updated and revitalized from its first iteration in 2012, the Authentic Indigenous designation is granted to key Stakeholders who offer compelling, culturally appropriate Indigenous tourism experiences. The designation helps travellers identify these experiences throughout the province and acknowledges they are contributing to the preservation of local Indigenous cultures and languages.
The program's return follows ITBC's release of its three-year Tourism Performance Audit Report in October 2018, which announced record-breaking growth of BC's Indigenous tourism industry. The report's findings include a notable 33% increase of Indigenous tourism-related businesses operating in 2016/17 over 2014, and an estimated $705 million gross domestic output generated by Indigenous businesses.
The report also indicated 36% of travellers surveyed had visited Indigenous sites, attractions or events on previous trips to BC, while 89% of tour operators would consider offering or expanding their Indigenous experiences to meet demand.
In further support of Indigenous tourism growth and marketing, ITBC recently unveiled a new consumer website featuring rich digital storytelling from thriving and inspirational Indigenous cultures in BC. Paired with a new series called "Living Legends", which documents remarkable individuals who dedicate themselves to the resurgence and revitalization of local Indigenous cultures, the website is poised to contribute to another banner year for Indigenous tourism across the province.
To receive the Authentic Indigenous designation, tourism businesses must be Indigenous-owned and operated, offer quality Indigenous cultural content, and practice sustainability that protects both culture and environment. Learn more at www.IndigenousBC.com.
About Indigenous Tourism BC
ITBC is a non-profit, Stakeholder-based organization committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry. Through training, information resources, networking opportunities and cooperative marketing programs, ITBC is a resource for Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities in BC who are operating or looking to start a tourism business. ITBC works closely with tourism, business, education and government organizations to help BC's Indigenous tourism businesses offer quality experiences and actively promote these experiences to visitors and local residents. www.IndigenousBC.com