Destination BC partners with Indigenous Tourism BC to inspire travel

A campaign about nature's revelatory power aims to help the hard-hit tourism sector.
DestinationBC

A new campaign from Destination BC is encouraging Canadians to head west and find themselves again.

The campaign, called “Find Yourself,” was created in partnership with Indigenous Tourism BC and creative agency 123w. A nearly two-minute video, written by Gidin Kuns (Cohen Isberg) of the Haida Nation and performed by  ᓀ ᒣ ᐦᐃ ᑑ ᐤ ᐃ ᐢ ᑯ ᑌ ᐤ ᒥ ᐢ ᑕ ᑎ ᐤ of the Zagime Anishinabek Nation, features breathtaking shots of the province’s natural landscapes and a diverse array of people traveling across them.

While many tourism campaigns – including those in Destination BC’s “Super Natural British Columbia” platform – typically prominently feature cinematic shots of nature that can only be found here, the message of this campaign takes a slightly different approach. Nature isn’t just a place to visit; we are nature, and returning to it is the only way we can truly “find ourselves.”

The project is designed to drive recovery for B.C.’s tourism sector, which, like most, was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The B.C. tourism industry was worth more than $20 billion in 2019 and employed upwards of 140,000 people, and Indigenous tourism played a key role in that, as one in four visitors to the province actively sought authentic Indigenous experiences, according to Destination B.C. data. In 2016, approximately 401 Indigenous tourism-related businesses operated in the province, generating $705 million in direct GDP output and creating 7,400 direct full-time jobs.

But research from the Conference Board of Canada (CBOC) and Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada showed that Indigenous tourism had been hard hit nationwide, with the industry projecting a 54% decline in direct GDP compared to pre-pandemic levels. Another study, using Destination Canada’s recovery model, projected that it would take until 2028 for Indigenous tourism employment and GDP levels to recover to peak 2019 figures.