(Mi’kmaq Territory – Charlottetown, PEI) Representatives of the former Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Circle, currently transitioning to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), attended the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers (CCTM) meeting this week in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

The meeting was attended by the Federal Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Agriculture Honourable Maxime Bernier plus a number of Provincial and Territorial Government Minister’s and their Deputy Ministers. The CCTM included a number of presentations from the key stakeholders including the Canadian Tourism Commission and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada both who identified the challenges to competing in tourism when compared with other countries as well as supporting Aboriginal tourism.

Representatives provided a presentation which celebrated the success of projects such as capacity building for the cruise industry, standardizing Aboriginal cultural tourism market readiness, new research project measuring the economic value of Aboriginal tourism to the Canadian economy, presentation of the new website portal for Aboriginal tourism throughout Canada with a specific focus on events, and the introduction of the new brand for ITAC to promote and market Aboriginal tourism in Canada.

The results of the presentation were as follows: a future meeting with the Federal Government caucus is being planned to increase education about the value of Aboriginal tourism, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and ITAC are launching a new national Aboriginal cultural tourism award, a meeting with the
Canadian Tourism Commission to review current and future marketing of Aboriginal tourism, and ITAC is looking forward to implementing recommendations with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) in light of the strong support from all Ministers in attendance.

ITAC Chair Mr. Keith Henry stated, “I want to thank the Government of Canada and all Provinces and Territories for identifying Aboriginal tourism as a key priority for Canada as a destination. It was exciting to showcase the work of our industry as we support advancing the interests for Aboriginal tourism in Canada. This advancement will require a strategy that includes partners from all levels of government, marketing organizations, and key industry voices such as TIAC and CTC.”

ITAC Member Mr. Dave Laveau stated, “I was proud to witness the support for Aboriginal tourism from across Canada. This is just another step to demonstrate how our industry has evolved and why a strategy with clear outcomes is needed Aboriginal tourism in Canada.”

ITAC Chair Keith Henry concluded, “The results establish a strong foundation to move forward with ITAC. We will complete our national research project in the coming months, prepare to launch to new website portal, and are excited to host the upcoming International Aboriginal Tourism Conference being hosted March 24th and 25th in Quebec City, Quebec. We invite everyone to come and learn about why Aboriginal tourism in Canada is growing at such a rapid pace, and we would like to thank Charlie Sark and the Aboriginal Tourism Association of PEI , and the Island Mi’kmaq for welcoming us into their Territory. ”

For more information about the upcoming International Aboriginal Tourism Conference March 24th and 25th, 2015, review at https://indigenoustourism.ca/2015-international-aboriginal-tourism-conference-save-the-date/.

For more information about the ATMC or the tools developed to support Aboriginal communities, organizations, and entrepreneurs please view at https://indigenoustourism.ca/.

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Click here to view the Government of Canada press release.