Indigenous based tourism will be strengthened by a memorandum of understanding signed between Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) and Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC).
With the signing of the MOU, at the B.C. Tourism Industry Complex in Vancouver this week, both parties are pledging to collaborate on promoting the growth of Indigenous tourism within the region.
“There are exceptional Indigenous experiences, an abundance of cultural sharing opportunities and untapped potential to support a thriving Indigenous tourism economy in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast,” said Amy Thacker, the CEO of the CCCTA. “I am thrilled with today’s memorandum of understanding signing and what it means to those businesses and entrepreneurs looking to support their families and way of life.”
Both the CCCTA and ITBC agree the terms of the MOU will be an excellent way for them to cross-promote one another’s programs and initiatives.
By shining a light on Indigenous based tourism in the region, the CCCTA believes non-Indigenous tourism will also be revealed, with both parties agreeing this will highlight the importance of collaboration between tourism experiences. Through leveraging one another’s resources and sharing local culture and history, both parties hope to foster a sustainable visitor economy throughout the region.
“This MOU shows a high level of trust between ITBC and CCCTA, and reflects the spirit of a genuine strategic partnership for the benefits of the Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region,” said Brenda Baptiste, chair of ITBC.
“This includes the development of world-class Indigenous tourism experiences that will attract more visitors to the region.”
The MOU was developed to more clearly define the relationship and partnership between ITBC and CCCTA when it comes to expanding the Indigenous tourism and Non-Indigenous tourism sectors by supporting communities to individual entrepreneurs while they develop new product and programming.
Key to this new partnership will be the establishment of the role of Indigenous tourism specialist for the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region.
This full-time role will be based out of Williams Lake, with the person who takes the job overseeing the execution of all the terms of the MOU.
This includes engaging with regional First Nations communities and entrepreneurs, the implementation of priority projects, acquisition of content for marketing activities, advancement of training and product development programs and a variety of other responsibilities.
“Indigenous tourism is a fast-growing sector and I’m proud that B.C. is recognized as a world leader where Indigenous people want to share their landscapes, cultures, traditions and experiences with tourists,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “This MOU will help Indigenous tourism continue to flourish and is a great example of organizations working together to address the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.”