Friday was a significant day according to the CEO of Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association.
The CCCTA signed a memorandum of understanding with Indigenous Tourism BC at the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Vancouver that will outline how they collaborate and work together to bring Indigenous tourism to the market place.
“We’ve been working closely with Indigenous Tourism BC and Indigenous Tourism Canada for several years, and through the course of our destination development strategy creation working with industry and communities we heard that they wanted to see a stronger alliance between the parties,” said CCCTA CEO Amy Thacker.
“So for the last eighteen months, we’ve been in negotiations and discussions on how we could bring that to fruition and how we could better align our interests and be more efficient at supporting rural entrepreneurs and communities. Today’s signing was an outcome of a lot of that hard work and celebration and commitment to work together.”
Through the memorandum of understanding, Thacker said the CCCTA will be posting and jointly hiring a First Nations and Indigenous specialist to work out of the CCCTA office in Williams Lake to support communities and indigenous entrepreneurs in the region.
“They’ll be working with our indigenous operators to develop cultural sharing protocols and understand the tourism system, and be able to grow and bring product to market, and working with our non-indigenous tourism operators to understand collaboration and packaging that can celebrate all the diverse cultures in the region,” Thacker said.
“We will be confirming the posting agreement and get that job posting out and start our recruitment so hopefully we can have a specialist in place by the spring and begin our work together.”
Thacker adds the CCCTA will be learning from strong leadership as Northern BC Tourism and Thompson Okanagan Tourism were able to make similar agreements last year.
“Indigenous tourism is a fast-growing sector and I’m proud that BC 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.”