A three year audit examining Indigenous tourism in British Columbia has revealed “unprecedented growth” in the travel sector.
The report released by Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) shows the performance of Indigenous tourism in BC between 2013 and 2017.
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By the numbers, highlights of the report include:
- 401 Indigenous tourism-related businesses that operated in BC in 2016/17 — a 33% increase over 2014
- 7,400 direct full-time jobs created by Indigenous tourism businesses in BC
- $705 million direct gross domestic output generated by Indigenous businesses in 2016
- 7.2 million visitors expected to engage in Indigenous tourism experiences over the next two years from the top five markets for Indigenous tourism in Canada (Canada, Germany, UK, US and China)
- 36% of travellers surveyed in an ITBC study who indicated they had visited Indigenous sites, attractions or events on previous trips to BC
- 89% of tour operators who indicated in a recent ITBC survey that they would consider offering or expanding Indigenous experiences as part of their travel packages
The group says the best way to immerse yourself in the living traditions of British Columbia’s Indigenous people is by exploring Aboriginal outdoor activities, such as canoeing, fishing and hiking; experiencing wildlife tours and and excursions that hold spiritual significance; and trying traditional food prepared by methods handed down by uncounted generations, as well as appreciating the artistic pieces of history.