The MOU was signed by Frank Antoine, Co-Chair of ITBC, and Ian MacPhee, Chair of TVI, at the Tourism Vancouver Island Annual Conference in Nanaimo. Through the agreement, ITBC and TVI will build on the current relationship for a collaborative relationship in the interest of achieving mutually beneficial outcomes, including diversification of the regional tourism community and promotion of economic prosperity among Indigenous communities.
Both organizations pledge to equip Indigenous communities and businesses with the necessary skills and resources that enable them to meet the growing demand for authentic cultural experiences. They will also work with local tourism, business, educational and government organizations to create guiding principles and joint initiatives that support the development of Indigenous businesses and enhance the economic prosperity of Indigenous people.
Tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in BC, with Indigenous tourism businesses contributing $705 million each year to the provincial economy. The Vancouver Island region is home to more than 50 First Nations communities, whose unique cultural adventures, products and services have the potential to significantly increase tourism dollars. The success of these communities and businesses relies heavily on partnerships such as ITBC and TVI’s to provide resources and funding.
Brenda Baptiste, Chair, Indigenous Tourism BC
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Tourism Vancouver Island on the development and promotion of culturally rich Indigenous tourism experiences. It is so important to offer businesses and individuals the support required to achieve success, and we are grateful to Tourism Vancouver Island for allowing us to provide this assistance to communities throughout the region.”
Ian MacPhee, Chair, Tourism Vancouver Island
“Thoughtful and respectful tourism development not only garners economic benefits through employment and entrepreneurship but also provides visitors with a unique opportunity to learn and share local Indigenous history and culture. We are excited to work with Indigenous Tourism BC to ensure Vancouver Island’s Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities are granted the resources they need to elevate their tourism businesses or bring them to life.”
Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture
“Congratulations to Indigenous Tourism BC and Tourism Vancouver Island on this collaboration. Indigenous tourism experiences support reconciliation by providing economic prosperity for many Indigenous people in B.C., and by promoting increased awareness of Indigenous culture for British Columbians and our visitors.”