Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – March 7, 2024 – The first funding round is being released to 78 Indigenous tourism businesses from across Canada who applied for up to $25,000 from a $10 million investment from the Government of Canada through its Indigenous Tourism Fund Micro and Small Business Stream.

This funding program recognizes market readiness standards set by The Original Original Accreditation Program, considering factors such as resource availability, cash flow, marketing and community connections. Its primary objective is to provide support to Indigenous tourism operators, offering funding of up to $25,000 per business to enhance their operations across six crucial categories:

● Effective Community Engagement and Support
● Excellence in Visitor Experience
● Ensuring Health, Safety, and Comfort
● Practicing Sustainable Indigenous Tourism
● Excellence in Marketing and Visitor Services
● Demonstrating Business Acumen/Practices

As ITAC and the Provincial and Territorial Indigenous Tourism Associations continue to receive and approve more applications, funds will be distributed to Indigenous tourism businesses at various stages of their tourism development, in alignment with the program’s eligibility criteria. Indigenous tourism businesses must have a completed Application submitted to The Original Original Accreditation Program, been in operation for at least two years and be an at least 51% Indigenous-owned tourism business.

“The Government of Canada’s significant investment signifies a crucial juncture for collaborative efforts in advancing Indigenous tourism across the country. Through the Indigenous Tourism Fund Micro and Small Business Stream, the financial support will enable Indigenous tourism operators to enrich their services, elevate their enterprises, and deliver unparalleled and authentic tourism experiences to both domestic and global visitors.”

Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC.

“Indigenous tourism has the power to advance reconciliation, create opportunities and transform Canadian tourism. That’s why helping it grow and thrive is one of our top priorities. With an Indigenous-led process, we are supporting communities in making their own decisions and developing tourism at their own pace. I look forward to seeing the difference that this funding makes in communities across Turtle Island.”

The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism.

To view the successful applicants from round one, click here.

To learn more about The Original Original Accreditation Program click here.

For more information on the Indigenous Tourism Fund Micro and Small Business Stream, click here.


About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is a national non-profit Indigenous tourism industry organization established in 2015. ITAC is the lead organization tasked with growing and promoting the Indigenous tourism industry across the country. Inspired by a vision for a thriving Indigenous tourism economy sharing authentic, memorable and enriching experiences, ITAC develops relationships with groups and regions with similar mandates to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism businesses in a respectful protocol.