Artifacts under glass at the newly renovated Sto:lo Interpretive Centre on the Coqualeetza grounds now part of the Sto:lo Tourism infrastructure. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress file)

B.C’s Indigenous tourism takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to imbue the industry with authenticity

Today’s travellers are looking for a deeper, more authentic connection to the world.

Indigenous Tourism BC members and entrepreneurs will be rolling into Chilliwack on Saturday, March 24 for a regional workshop to talk about the implications of this tourism trend.

Hosted by Sto:lo Nation and Sto:lo Tourism Chilliwack at the Sto:lo Resource Centre, the community engagement workshop will highlight the “tourism experiences needed to meet the growing visitor demand for authentic Indigenous experiences.”

Participants will be looking at the value of Indigenous tourism, engaging in a discussion forum and brainstorming about how to grow the industry.

It’s timely because in the next three years, Indigenous Tourism BC expects to focus on partnerships, using a strategic focus to assist the Indigenous tourism industry across B.C. in welcoming 2.2 million visitors, and help generate $1.5 billion in spending.

“Indigenous experiences are an integral part of British Columbia’s cultural story, and we are proud to partner with Indigenous Tourism BC to help share this story with visitors,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

“Indigenous communities are an important part of B.C.’s economic success and helping entrepreneurs develop more tourism-based business opportunities benefits people across the province.”

“We are going into communities so that we can be grounded in the local cultures and hear and listen to what our stakeholders need in order to make us a more responsive organization,” adds Tracey Eyssens, chief executive office of Indigenous Tourism BC. “These engagement sessions will give us the focus to develop and deliver programs throughout 2018/2019 that will truly drive the Indigenous Tourism sector.”

The regional Indigenous tourism workshop is Saturday, March 24, in the Sto:lo Resource Centre SRC, Bldg. 10, 7201 Vedder Road, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It is free and open to anyone with an interest in growing the Indigenous tourism industry, from business owners to community members.

Contact Paula Amos, director of partnerships at Indigenous Tourism BC, to register for the workshop by calling 604-921-1070 (ext. 223) or email to Paula@IndigenousBC.com.

READ MORE: Sto:lo tourism culture series

READ MORE: Interpretive centre updated


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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