The Provincial Government is giving financial support to 140 Indigenous tourism businesses, including six in the Kootenay Rockies area.
Together, the six businesses will share $185,000 in grants to help mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.”
Altogether, the B.C. Government grants through the BC Indigenous Tourism Recovery Fund add up to $5-million across all 140 businesses.
These businesses include lodges, resorts, outdoor adventure experiences, galleries and gift shops owned by Indigenous people.
Individual businesses each received up to $45,000 to help them through the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money may be used to pay for costs such as rent, utility bills, installing health and safety measures, and shifting services online.
B.C. said the fund is used to help maintain or create nearly 1,200 jobs across the province.
“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.”
A breakdown showing the grant distribution follows:
- Cariboo Chilcotin Coast – $305,000 to nine recipients
- Kootenay Rockies – $185,000 to six recipients
- Northern B.C. – $1.3 million to 37 recipients
- Thompson Okanagan – $705,000 to 18 recipients
- Vancouver coast and mountains – $930,000 to 25 recipients
- Vancouver Island – $1.58 million to 45 recipients
Business type breakdown:
- Accommodation – $1.51 million to 43 recipients
- Arts and culture – $1.46 million to 39 recipients
- Culinary and wellness – $620,000 to 20 recipients
- Outdoor adventure – $760,000 to 19 recipients
- Transportation – $360,000 to 10 recipients
- Wildlife and nature – $285,000 to nine recipients