NewsNew partnership aims to boost island’s Indigenous tourism SHARE ON: Patrick Grapes, staff Wednesday, Oct. 9th, 2019 The deal is signed (supplied)A new partnership is aimed at increasing Indigenous tourism across Vancouver Island.Indigenous Tourism BC and Tourism Vancouver Island have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the industry. The MOU was signed by Brenda Baptiste, Chair of ITBC, and Ian MacPhee, Chair of TVI, at the Tourism Vancouver Island Annual Conference in Nanaimo. Through the agreement, ITBC and TVI agree to establish a collaborative relationship in the interest of achieving mutually beneficial outcomes, including diversification of the regional tourism community and promotion of economic prosperity among Indigenous communities. Both organizations are pledging to equip Indigenous communities and businesses with the necessary skills and resources that enable them to meet the growing demand for authentic cultural experiences. They will also work with local tourism, business, educational and government organizations to create guiding principles and joint initiatives that support the development of Indigenous businesses and enhance the economic prosperity of Indigenous people. Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in B.C., with Indigenous tourism businesses contributing $705 million each year to the provincial economy. The Vancouver Island region is home to more than 50 First Nations communities. Indigenous Tourism BC says those communities’ unique cultural adventures, products and services have the potential to significantly increase tourism dollars.