103 tourism companies receive contributions up to $25,000

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – With the support of the Federal Government of Canada’s $16 million stimulus grant fund, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is continuing to provide relief to many Indigenous tourism operators across the country with its COVID-19 Development Stimulus Fund.

After providing hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs across the Indigenous community funding this summer to help them cope through the COVID-19 shutdowns, ITAC today announces its Phase 5 in financial assistance. An additional 103 tourism operators will receive funding totaling over $2.448 million in the form of non-repayable contributions up to $25,000.

“We are so happy to be able to move quickly in this process and announce another phase in our stimulus plan, providing funding for another 103 Indigenous tourism businesses,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “It is uplifting to be able to help Indigenous tourism operators and entrepreneurs through these uncertain times and provide them with the support they need to stay afloat during the pandemic and plan for future growth.”

In the five years since forming ITAC, the association has helped advance the Indigenous tourism industry into one of the fastest-growing in Canada, with visitor demand surpassing other tourism sectors. With the support of Federal funding from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), ITAC aims to release financial assistance to over 600 businesses in the Indigenous tourism sector across the country.

“The Indigenous tourism industry is a driving force of many local economies across Canada. As the industry has been particularly hard hit economically by the COVID-19 pandemic, our government is contributing $16 million to support Indigenous tourism businesses in need, through the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada,” said Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services. “This funding will help Indigenous tourism businesses weather COVID-19 by supporting businesses as they seek out new ways of operating in a changed world.”

With this announcement, ITAC has provided assistance to 454 unique Indigenous tourism businesses with funding totalling $10,795,700 with still 1 phase of funding to go (Phase 6).

To view frequently asked questions, click here.
To view Phase Five successful applicants, click here.
To view Phase Four successful applicants, click here.
To view Phase Two and Three successful applicants, click here.
To view the initial successful applicants in Phase One, click here.
For more information on the ITAC’s COVID-19 Development Stimulus Fund, click here.
To view all of ITAC’s communications around COVID-19 and the resources available, click here.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is the lead organization tasked with growing 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 other groups and regions with similar mandates. By uniting the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada, ITAC works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol.  Prior to 2020, Indigenous tourism was outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall, and international demand for Indigenous experiences was at an all-time high. Due to COVID-19, ITAC recently released a report on the financial challenges facing Indigenous tourism operators and recommended stimulus solutions. As well, a 2020-2021 revised action plan focused on sustaining Indigenous tourism in the face of COVID-19 was released in March.

Media Contacts
Deirdre Campbell, Beattie Tartan

Keith Henry, CEO
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

French media requests
Sebastien Desnoyers-Picard, Chief Marketing Officer
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada