By Haley Grinder
Journalist Local Journalism Initiative
Province of British Columbia renews support for Indigenous tourism businesses with second financial boost. The decision was announced on Tuesday, November 16 by the British Columbia Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.
Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) received $ 5 million in February earlier this year, creating the BC Indigenous Tourism Recovery Fund. She will now delegate an additional $ 3 million to the cause.
British Columbia says the Recovery Fund contributes to the continued success of Indigenous tourism businesses, such as lodges, resorts, restaurants, outdoor adventure experiences, galleries and gift shops through grants provided.
“These grants are reconciliation in action and support the self-determination of Indigenous tourism businesses to showcase their lands, cultures and peoples,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, in a press release. “Together with Indigenous Tourism BC, we are working to rebuild Indigenous-led tourism and bring it back to the flourishing levels of growth we saw before the pandemic, resulting in a stronger future for everyone. “
The funds can be used by Indigenous business owners for staff salaries, rent costs, and to keep the business operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 480 Indigenous tourism businesses among BC’s 203 First Nations, the sector was considered the fastest growing part of the tourism industry before the pandemic, generating $ 705 million in gross domestic production. and creating 7,400 full-time employment opportunities.
“ITBC has worked hard with stakeholders and provided a support system for businesses to keep operating during the pandemic,” said Brenda Baptiste, president of Indigenous Tourism BC, in the statement. “We are extremely grateful for the partnerships and work we do with the tourism industry and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sports. “
The admission date for the recovery grant has not been set, but ITBC is confident it will be in the coming weeks.