First Nations from across Pacific gather in Vancouver to talk tourism

VANCOUVER — A National Geographic explorer-in-residence has told an audience in Vancouver that the growing field of aboriginal tourism has to be about more than boosting quotas of First Nations in the industry.

Wade Davis says First Nations groups engaging in tourism on their own terms could revolutionize the sector by encouraging a deeper appreciation of cultural diversity.

Davis gave the keynote address to more than 100 delegates from around the world at the second annual Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism and Trade Conference.

It brought together groups ringing the Pacific Ocean to discuss strategies on promoting the burgeoning industry.

Aboriginal Tourism B.C. head Keith Earl says First Nations tourism is unique because it provides a snapshot into a culture and its people.

Earl says aboriginal tourism in the province reached $50 million in revenues this year and he anticipates it will hit $68 million by 2017.

The Canadian Press