(Vancouver, BC) – The Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Circle (ATMC) is a consortium of over twenty Aboriginal tourism industry organizations and government representatives from across Canada. ATMC was formed when a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in 2009, specifically to support a unified Aboriginal tourism industry voice. Through the MOU ATMC creates a partnership between associations, organizations, government departments and industry leaders from across Canada which supports a collective industry voice to ensure growth of Aboriginal tourism in Canada.

One of ATMC’s key objectives is to support an increase in the number of market ready Aboriginal cultural tourism products in Canada. Therefore ATMC took the lead in the development of a national manual to guide support consistently for Aboriginal cultural tourism visitor, market, and export ready standards. This week ATMC is launching the new “Aboriginal Cultural Experiences – National Guidelines” which can assist Aboriginal economic development offices, Aboriginal capital funding agencies, industry partners, and existing Aboriginal cultural tourism businesses better understand and strive for an understanding and awareness of visitor, market, or export ready standards. Meeting these tourism industry standards ensures visitors will get world class experiences and support the long term sustainability of our Aboriginal tourism industry across Canada. A strategic and unified approach to developing Aboriginal cultural tourism will also further enhance national and international tourism investments in Aboriginal tourism in Canada.

The new manual was created through national consultation with ATMC partners, industry, and support from the Federal Government through Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). The goal for ATMC was to create a user-friendly self assessment and reference tool that would be valuable for both the Aboriginal tourism industry and the Aboriginal economic development community across Canada in the creation and expansion of Aboriginal cultural tourism experiences.

ATMC Chair Keith Henry stated; “We recently presented a draft of the manual at the National Aboriginal Tourism Conference at Spirit Ridge Resort and Conference Centre in Osoyoos, British Columbia and the response and support was overwhelming. Today we are thrilled to share the final version with our valued tourism partners from across Canada and the public. Ultimately, ATMC hopes that the new national manual will guide and be a useful tool to building successful Aboriginal cultural tourism business throughout Canada. ATMC knows there is a consumer demand to increase the number of “market-ready” Aboriginal tourism experiences and we are taking steps as industry leaders to support long term success.”

ATMC Chair Henry concluded: “Thank you AANDC as this new tool supports the objectives of the Federal Tourism Strategy and needs within the Aboriginal tourism. ATMC members are planning regional workshops in key locations across Canada to further implement the new manual. Thank you to ATMC members for the dedication and time to create such an important tool. We know the national manual will be an effective tool for anyone or any government ministry seeking to build new Aboriginal cultural tourism businesses or invest in existing business where standards can be improved.”

For more information about ATMC or the new national manual please contact any of the ATMC members. The manual is also available on the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC) at http://bit.ly/10MFMxt.

Watch for future regional opportunities to attend ATMC workshops.

Click here to download the National Guidelines as a PDF.