Northern British Columbia Tourism Association and the seven northern Community Futures have entered a formal partnership, working collaboratively to support businesses in northern B.C. through the COVID19 pandemic. The newly formed partnership will build on existing informal relationships, establishing a task force during the pandemic to assist northern businesses to increase and improve communication, better coordinate tourism initiatives, and laying the groundwork for planning through collaborative information sharing and data analysis.
“Businesses across the Northern BC region have experienced entirely new challenges this past year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said said Clint Fraser, CEO, NBCTA, in a news release. “NBCTA is committed to supporting tourism businesses in our region as they weather this storm which is why we are thrilled to formalize a regional partnership with Community Futures. Community Futures has long been an informal partner with whom we share common goals, but to have that partnership formalized through this newest MOU will only strengthen and better support the tourism industry across northern B.C..”
The memorandum of understanding between NBCTA and Community Futures expresses a commitment by both parties to ensure regular meetings between Community Futures staff and NBCTA staff working directly with tourism businesses, to share information, build resource strength for businesses, and ensure effective referrals, collaboration and problem-solving for clients. The establishment of on-the-ground collaborative initiatives such as joint marketing and funding opportunities will be recommended to the Tourism Task Force for approval and resourcing.
“We have all been working closely with our communities during this difficult year. Impacts to tourism have been devastating throughout the North, and CFs are committed to working with entrepreneurs and businesses at the local and pan-northern levels to mitigate the impacts and support the necessary changes to how we do things,” according to a joint statement by the northern Community Futures. “Forming a strategic relationship with NBCTA will pool knowledge, ideas and energy on behalf of northern business; we anticipate some immediate, positive outcomes, and look forward to tourism in the north coming back stronger than ever.”
The seven northern Community Futures are: Peace Liard (Northeast BC including all communities in the Peace River and Fort Nelson Regional Districts), Fraser Fort George (Prince George, Mackenzie, McBride, Valemount and region), Stuart Nechako (Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Fraser Lake and region), Nadina (Burns Lake, Granisle, Houston, Telkwa, Topley, Smithers and region), 16/37 (Terrace, Kitimat/Haisla, Nass Valley, Hazelton, Dease Lake and region), Pacific Northwest (Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Metlakatla, Lax K’walaams, Hartley Bay and region), and Haida Gwaii.