Photo: Takaya Tours, a member of Indigenous Tourism BC
Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) is our co-host for the 2019 ABM Indigenous: West in Penticton. We’ve partnered with them for four years now and were identified as one of the ways the organization can help foster their members’ economic growth in their 2017-2022 strategic plan “Pulling Together.”
As a non-profit, stakeholder-based organization ITBC brings a positive, infectious energy to their commitment to grow and promote a sustainable, culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry. They work closely with tourism, business, education and government organizations to help Indigenous tourism businesses in BC offer quality experiences.
Their vision of transforming lives, helping Indigenous communities reconnect with their culture and to carve a path for a new generation of strong and proud business leaders is one that resonates with Canadians now more than ever.
ITBC’s research shows one in three visitors coming to BC are seeking out an authentic Indigenous experience. In 2016 there were an estimated 401 Indigenous tourism related businesses operating in BC, generating $705 million in direct gross domestic output and creating 7,400 direct full-time jobs for Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents in BC through their activities. That’s a lot of impact, and the good news is there’s a lot more room for growth, as the tourism industry shows no signs of slowing down.
We love the passion they share in their strategic vision document. “[We believe] that Indigenous cultural tourism in BC is not just about business, but also about rediscovery, transformation and empowerment. In an age driven by empty brand promises and an endless barrage of advertising messages, it’s no wonder that a growing number of travelers hunger for meaning and a deeper connection with the world around them. Never have these audiences been as ready to hear our stories and experience the power of our Indigenous cultures in BC. With Indigenous cultural tourism’s star on the rise, we must greet the future with open arms.”
ITBC believes that by 2022 Indigenous cultural tourism in BC could welcome 2.2 million visitors per year and help generate $1.5 billion in spending. By partnering with ABM on our unique B2B matching event, they tap into our national network and connect with businesses who support and want to partner with them in their goals. We are thrilled to work with them again and encourage you to meet their representatives at ABM West.
To learn more, visit https://www.indigenousbc.com/assets/corporate/ITBC_2018_2019_Action_Plan.pdf.