"Powerful connections" made during Fam Tour

Did you know Lillooet residents are “so authentic and so nice?” And that there are “so many intersections of culture and history” here?

Those were just of some of the comments – and compliments – from participants in last week’s Chamber of Commerce-sponsored two-day Fam (Familiarization) Tour of Lillooet.

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An elated Director of Tourism Angela Bissat told the News the Fam Tour is a major step forward for tourism in the community.

“This Fam Tour could be the single most important thing to happen to Lillooet tourism,” Bissat told the News. “There is strength in numbers and we have made powerful connections here.”

The tour was offered to regional tourism professionals so they could experience Lillooet as a tourism destination.

Representatives from Squamish, Kamloops, Hope, the Bridge Valley, Gold Country, Destination BC and the Cariboo-Chilcotin-Coast Tourism Association all accepted Lillooet’s invitation and were pleased they did.

Tourism Kamloops representative Angie Halas singled out “the absolute love and passion people have for the uniqueness which Lillooet has.”

She added, “The Xwisten experience was the highlight experience of my year. Iy’d sn scknowledgment of reconciliation, and it is so important to be a part of an industry that is so diverse and representative of diversity. The mountains are also amazing.”

Monique Willis from Destination BC said she was surprised by how much the community and area have to offer.

“There’s not only the local menu at Fort Berens, but the generational sourcing of fish at Xwisten. There was an older man and a younger woman showing us how to catch and prepare the fish, but she was still learning, too. It was so nice to see the spawning channels and all of this is within 10 kilometres.”

Shawn O’Leary from Tourism Pemberton said he was surprised by the local fishing traditions and culture.

“There are so many different bands and designated spots that have been used for generations and that it’s about securing food. I have been in and out of the area for years and I didn’t know about the interment camps.”

© Virden Empire-Advance

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