March 22, 2017, Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) applauds the support and sustainable funding announcements for tourism in Federal Budget 2017.
As a part of today’s budget announcements, the government will invest $8.6 million in funding over four years starting 2017-18 through the department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, supporting the development of the authentic Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada.
“This is a historic day for Aboriginal tourism in Canada and today’s federal budget announcement recognizes the value the Government of Canada places on our industry,” says Keith Henry, President & CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. “This is the first time that the Government of Canada has invested in a national Aboriginal tourism strategy developed, created and implemented by Aboriginal people.”
The funding will support the fulfillment of ATAC’s Five-Year Plan “The Path Forward,” which supports the sustainable growth of the Aboriginal tourism industry across Canada. The five-year plan targets to grow the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada to increase revenue to $300 million in annual Canadian GDP, reach 40,233 Aboriginal tourism workers, and have 50 new Aboriginal tourism at export-ready status, all by 2021.
ITAC would like to thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of of Small Business and Tourism, and The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada for supporting the vision for the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada.
ITAC would also like to recognize our partners and friends at Destination Canada, who received a sustainable funding announcement of making permanent their funding of $37.5 million per year. The strong partnership between Destination Canada and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada helps Aboriginal tourism businesses succeed in international marketplaces, enhances the tourism fabric, and helps further the national identity of the country.
The Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada employs more than 33,000 people and produces $1.4 billion of Canada’s annual GDP. The Path Forward aims to increase revenues from the sector by $300 million in annual Canadian GDP, to reach 40,233 Indigenous tourism workers, and have 50 new Indigenous tourism operators.
About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) works to improve the socio-economic condition of Aboriginal people through the provisions of economic development advisory services, tourism conferences, capacity development training and workshops, industry research and information for Aboriginal tourism operators and communities within the 13 regions; 10 provinces and three territories of Canada. ITAC develops relationships with other groups and regions with similar mandates, uniting the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada and works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Aboriginal cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. The ITAC Board is made up of Aboriginal tourism industry representatives from each of the provinces and territories. For more information, visit www.indigenoustourism.ca.
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