A Regional Indigenous Tourism Specialist has been hired on in northern BC.

The Northern BC Tourism Association and the Indigenous Tourism BC announced last week Lucy Martin would take over the role.

The new position fills a major hole in the area.

“We recognize the need to have an indigenous person in the north to really connect with indigenous communities, we see a real opportunity to increase the supply of indigenous experiences and the way to do that is to have someone in the communities,” says Tracy Eyssens, Indigenous Tourism BC CEO.

Taking indigenous tourism to the next level in northern BC is now in the hands of Martin who began her new role back on March 6th.

Eyessens explains how Martin stood out from the rest of the candidates.

“So, we really wanted someone who was really grounded and connected as she had worked at the McLeod Lake Indian Band, she worked in economic development and understood those business concepts and more importantly she understood those communities and that’s what made her stand out from the other candidates.”

“I think what Lucy brings is a real connection to culture and when we look at engaging those indigenous people in the north that became really important because she needs to understand the political dynamic of those communities and also the cultural dynamic.”

The demand for this kind of tourism is at an all-time high from Canadian, German, British, American and Chinese tourists wanting the best experience possible.

“I think when visitors come here they really want to be part of that living culture, they want to immerse in those experiences as they want to hear and see and feel indigenous culture coming alive to hear the elders speak to see the dancers and to participate in their local activities carving and weaving. That’s what entices people.”

Last year, the province’s Indigenous tourism sector generated over $700 million dollars in gross direct output.