Treaty 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Red River Métis (Winnipeg, MB) — The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) wrapped up its tenth annual International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC) last week, bringing together 1,100 delegates and tourism industry leaders from across the globe, making it the largest conference of its kind in the world. Moreover, ITAC thanks all for attending and supporting the growth of Indigenous Tourism in Canada and around the world.
“The 2023 IITC has been an overwhelming success in terms of programming, attendees and more,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “This year’s conference has set the bar to a height never seen before for Indigenous tourism in Canada.”
This year’s conference held in Treaty 1 Territory and the Homeland of the Red River Métis (Winnipeg, Manitoba) hosted 64 speakers, including two keynote speakers; The Honourable Murray Sinclair CC, MSC and Pania Tyson-Nathan, NZ Māori Tourism Chief Executive, Key Contributor and Influencer. New this year, Leticia Spence of Leticia Spence Design, was the local artist who created the spectacular look and feel of the #2023IITC that honoured Manitoba.
During the conference the following announcements were made:
ITAC shared its 2030 vision to make Canada the world leader in Indigenous tourism by 2030 and announced its pledge for partners to help make this vision happen.
ITAC has provided a template of the 2030 Pledge and hopes members and partners will consider printing, signing and sharing it with their networks using the #IndigenousTourismTeamCanada hashtag. Members and partners can also watch, share and download the new 2030 Pledge promo video here. Please email your signed pledges to Pledge@IndigenousTourism.ca.
The Original Original Accreditation and the mark of excellence were well-received and recognized for their importance to the growth of Indigenous tourism in Canada and internationally. Keynote speaker Pania Tyson-Nathan herself commented on the success of ITAC in creating the accreditation program.
ITAC signed its first memorandum of understanding with Trans Canada Trail that outlines the shared priority of developing and promoting trails tourism destinations inclusive of authentic Indigenous experiences
Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) and Travel Alberta announced the largest ever provincial contribution towards the development and marketing of Indigenous-owned tourism experiences. Under the new funding commitment, Travel Alberta will provide $6 million in direct and in-kind support over three years to ITA.
There were also diverse winners at the Indigenous Tourism Awards Gala, presented by WestJet, divided into two categories: ITAC’s national awards, available to anyone across Canada; and the Indigenous Tourism Manitoba awards, available to Manitoba-based nominees. Many Indigenous entrepreneurs from coast to coast to coast were celebrated for their excellent achievements in Indigenous tourism.
The 11th annual IITC will be held in unceded Algonquin Anishinaabeg Territory – Ottawa, Ontario, in 2024.
The success of this year’s conference would not be possible without the support of our great conference partners:
- Government of Canada
- Travel Manitoba
- Destination Canada
- Ottawa Tourism
- Parks Canada
- Tourism Winnipeg
- Centennial College
- Expedia Group
- Via Rail Canada
- Destination Greater Victoria
- Explore Edmonton
- Indigenous Tourism Manitoba
- Tourism Industry Association of Canada
- Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations
- Cape Croker Park