Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) and Vancouver Airport Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding today, strengthening a working relationship which will support each organization’s goals, contribute to the growth of tourism and drive awareness for the diverse regions of British Columbia.
The MOU signing signals the beginning of a new partnership, one that acknowledges the power of unique perspectives, accountability, and a shared vision to support the development of a sustainable Indigenous tourism economy, thus supporting the economic recovery of B.C.
The surrounding principle of the MOU is collaboration, including opportunities for cross-promotion to Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry, data and knowledge sharing, as well as leveraging market intelligence. The partnership also provides a framework that will improve connections among respective industry and community partners, including, First Nation communities and organizations.
During the celebration event, ITBC and YVR revealed an interactive kiosk, visually highlighting the vibrant Indigenous tourism experiences throughout the province. The kiosk will live at YVR as a welcoming installation for visitors and locals, alike.
“We are thankful for our new partnership with YVR and their ongoing commitment and collaboration to support Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs. We're working together to encourage the exploration of Indigenous tourism experiences in B.C. and promote a responsible and respectful return to travel. Thanks to YVR for starting our partnership off in a good way by giving ITBC's new interactive kiosk a home at the airport. The installation welcomes travellers and residents of B.C. to engage with our vibrant Indigenous cultures," said Brenda Baptiste, Chair of ITBC.
ITBC and YVR welcomed special guests and partners, including representatives from Musqueam, who share their collective vision to witness the official signing of the MOU and the traditional exchanging of gifts between Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority and Brenda Baptiste, ITBC Chair of the Board.
“As we continue to implement a safe and measured approach to welcoming back travel and tourism in our region, we’re thrilled to initiate a new partnership that will look at how we better support British Columbia’s rich and diverse Indigenous tourism industry into the future,” said Tamara Vrooman, President and CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority. “At YVR, we are all about connections. As we have learned working with Musqueam, whose traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory YVR is on, Indigenous peoples in British Columbia maintain deep connections to the lands, waters, animals, and supernatural realms of their unique Territories. We look forward to combining our efforts to advance these vital connections on all fronts to advance new opportunities for tourism that contribute to the success of our Indigenous communities.”
Today’s announcement builds on YVR’s commitment to Indigenous tourism in Canada, which is also demonstrated through the airport’s signing of a historic MOU with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada last year.