Sept. 7, 2017, Coast Salish Territories, Turtle Island (Vancouver, BC) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), with the purpose of establishing a framework for cooperation between the two associations – and Canada and the United States.
The MOU intends to further enhance collaboration opportunities between AIANTA and ATAC; enrich understanding, education and cultural exchange among the members; offer business development and cultural education opportunities for the members; and support the long-term economic viability of tribal communities and each tribal member through collaboration efforts. Jointly, it will increase tourism Native American and Aboriginal Canadian tourism.
ITAC provides leadership in the development and marketing of authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences through innovative partnerships. ITAC designed a national strategy entitled, “The Path Forward; 2016-2021.” This five-year strategic plan outlines the national strategy to grow the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada in revenues, jobs, and Aboriginal owned successful businesses.
ITAC conducted extensive research to measure the economic impact of Aboriginal tourism in Canada. This research shows that the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada employs more than 33,000 people and produces $1.4 billion of Canada’s annual GDP. This research also identified a list of barriers or challenges that hinder the growth and sustainability of Canada’s Aboriginal tourism industry.
ITAC is supporting the tourism marketplace to meet the visitor demands for authentic, meaningful experiences while travelling in Canada. The ITAC five-year plan is designed to respond to growing visitor demands through development and marketing of authentic Aboriginal experiences that are market/export-ready delivering a meaningful and memorable experience to travelers to Canada.
AIANTA is a national non-profit association whose mission is to define, introduce, grow, and sustain American Indian and Alaska Native tourism that honors traditions and values. As the only organization specifically dedicated to advancing Indian Country tourism across the United States, AIANTA serves as the voice and resource for tribes and tribal organizations engaged in cultural tourism.
“This is an exceptional advancement for tribes throughout both the United States and Canada,” says Camille Ferguson, AIANTA Executive Director. “Both AIANTA and ITAC work to protect and sustain native cultures, economies, and communities through tourism. This new partnership economically benefits both organizations and countries through coordination and cooperation in the development, conservation, management, and promotion of tribal and aboriginal tourism.”
AIANTA works with other tribal and non-tribal national organizations, universities, regional tribal tourism organizations, national and international tourism organizations, law firms and Federal agencies to provide tribal tourism education, training, technical assistance and related resources to Indian Country and to market the benefits of Indian Country visitation internationally and domestically.
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. www.indigenoustourism.ca.