Six local recipients of tourism recovery fund
Throughout the province, 140 Indigenous tourism businesses have received grants to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
The province provided $5 million through the BC Indigenous Tourism Recovery Fund to support Indigenous tourism businesses. Indigenous tourism businesses include lodges and resorts, outdoor adventure experiences, galleries and gift shops owned by Indigenous people.
The fund is a partnership with Indigenous Tourism BC. It responded to a call to action from the Tourism Task Force.
Locally, in the Kootenay Rockies, $185,000 was provided to six recipients. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport did not name the recipients.
“Indigenous tourism was the fastest growing segment of B.C.’s tourism industry before the pandemic, and we’re determined to maintain this momentum,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “These grants are demonstrating reconciliation in action by ensuring people working in Indigenous tourism can continue inviting visitors for years to come.”
Businesses received up to $45,000 to navigate the ongoing economic impacts of the provincial restrictions. Indigenous tourism businesses are using the grant to keep their lights on and pay for things like rent, utility bills, installing health and safety measures, and shifting services online. The grants assisted businesses with maintaining or creating nearly 1,200 jobs in communities throughout B.C.
“Indigenous tourism businesses have shown so much strength and resilience throughout this pandemic,” said Brenda Baptiste, chair, Indigenous Tourism BC. “These grants give them the confidence to keep going and empower operators to adapt their businesses to meet the challenges. I’m thankful to the province for this important partnership.”