• Yukon businesses are leading the way.
  • Yukon is open for business.
  • Yukoners enjoy a very high quality of life.
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises continue to be Yukon’s largest private sector employer.
  • Yukon has been a site location for a number of feature films including the 20th Century Fox's, "The Big Year" starring Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black.
  • Yukon’s workforce is highly educated, skilled, motivated and productive.
  • Yukon is home to one of the world’s largest iron ore deposits and one of the world’s largest undeveloped lead-zinc districts.
  • Partnerships are key to our success.

Tourism and Culture

Yukon first nations culture

International and domestic tourism is an important sector in Canada, and tourism activities in Yukon continue to be a significant source of private sector employment.

Visitation to Yukon has averaged over 350,000 in recent years, with many individuals coming to Yukon to enjoy our vast open spaces, natural landscapes, wildlife and northern lights, and to experience the authenticity of our aboriginal and cultural heritage. Yukon’s history, natural beauty and unique cultural attractions offer many opportunities for tourism investment.

Yukon is positioned to benefit from major trends in the growing global tourism industry, including:

• An increase in wilderness, adventure and eco-tourism
• An emphasis on learning travel experiences
• The desire for authentic experiences
• Growth in aboriginal and cultural tourism
• An increase in winter travel
• Canada and Yukon’s reputation as a safe destination

Yukon is home to a number of unique cultural traditions. There are 14 Yukon First Nations and people of aboriginal descent constitute about 25 per cent of our population. Their traditional art can be found throughout the territory.

Yukon is also home to a vibrant francophone community and, on a per capita basis, has one of the highest concentrations of artists and artisans in Canada. Our communities are home to numerous painters, sculptors, carvers, musicians, writers and weavers.

Because of its history, natural beauty and a multitude of unique cultural attractions, Yukon offers many opportunities for tourism investment:

• We are one of the last frontiers where you can view wildlife in its natural habitat. The territory is home to seven species of large mammals including one of North America’s largest populations of grizzly bears and Dall sheep. The territory is also home to caribou, black bears, moose, elk, bison, deer, mountain goats and wolves plus a host of small mammals. There are over 200 species of birds and 38 species of fish. Yukon is on a major migratory route for Trumpeter and Tundra swans, Snow and Brandt geese and other birds.

• Each winter Yukon experiences a natural phenomenon more spectacular than any fireworks display. On clear winter nights the aurora borealis, or northern lights, can be seen dancing across the Yukon sky.

• Yukon’s mountains are spectacular. The territory sits in the North American Cordillera, a series of ranges and valleys along the northwest coast of the continent. The Kluane National Park and Reserve in southwest Yukon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Mount Logan, which is the highest point in Canada, the largest mass of granite in the world, and part of the St. Elias mountain range. This range also contains the world’s largest non-polar icefield.

• Yukon’s Kluane National Park and Reserve, adjacent Wrangell-St. Elias Park in Alaska and Tatshenshini-Alsek Park in British Columbia collectively form the largest protected area in the world.

• In 1898, Dawson City and the Klondike in central Yukon were host to the greatest gold rush the world has ever known. Today, the price of gold has created another “Rush” and visitors can experience “Gold Fever” by viewing, visiting and/or panning for gold at one of the many active placer gold mining properties in operation today.

• Yukon people and visitors use the territory’s 4,480 square kilometres of freshwater for activities like fishing, kayaking, canoeing and whitewater rafting during the summer months.

• Yukon is home to Canada’s second longest and North America’s fourth-longest river, the Yukon River, from which the territory derives its name.

• Yukon also has 200 kilometres of coastline along the Beaufort Sea and one Arctic island (Herschel Island), located five kilometres off the north shore.

Several Yukon First Nations have a strong land base and keen interest in sustainable tourism projects. The Yukon land claims and self-government process is unique in Canada, providing a cooperative basis for partnerships in the development of tourism projects.  Companies are encouraged to enter into discussions with First Nation governments early.

The Yukon government offers a variety of services to help investors identify viable tourism opportunities. Our knowledge of the land base, visitation patterns and working environment can help connect you to key contacts and opportunities. Our services are available, at no cost, to qualified business investors. Tourism in Yukon is unencumbered by any tax systems that affect tourism activities directly, such as a territorial sales tax or a “bed tax.”

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Yukon Economic Development