The province announced the BC Indigenous Tourism Recovery fund of roughly $5 million last month.
In a bid to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, the province has extended funding for various businesses in the Indigenous tourism sector. Of the $5 million, $1.3 million is going towards 37 businesses in Northern B.C. Talon Point Camp in Burns Lake, Takla Trading Post Granisle and Takla Narrows (Bulkley-Nechako) are the three businesses in the region who will be receiving portion of this funding, according to Carla Wormald, a spokesperson for the government.
“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. Several Indigenous tourism businesses will be using this grant funding to keep their lights on and pay for things like rent, utility bills, installing health and safety measures, and shifting services online until travel resumes and tourism is once again possible. The grants have assisted businesses with maintaining or creating nearly 1,200 jobs in communities throughout B.C. according to the press release issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.
Accomodations, arts and culture, culinary and wellness, outdoor adventure, transportation, and wildlife and nature are the business types receiving the grant.
“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.”