Destination Canada and ITAC Extend Partnership to Grow Indigenous Tourism in Canada


September 12, 2018, Territory of the Ta’an Kwäch’än and Kwanlin Dün Peoples (Whitehorse, YK) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Destination Canada have signed a new three-year partnering agreement to continue their important work in growing the Indigenous cultural tourism sector. The agreement will support employment opportunities, cultural revitalization and provide other economic benefits for communities and entrepreneurs.

Following the original partnership signed in 2015, this renewed commitment will ensure that Indigenous tourism businesses have access to relevant marketing programs, services and partnerships provided by Destination Canada. The agreement will focus on four key areas: marketing programs, connecting travel trade and media to export-ready Indigenous experiences, Indigenous experiences highlighted through Business Events Canada marketing, and increased access to global research and market intelligence.

Both Destination Canada and ITAC will exchange knowledge, expertise and market intelligence; facilitate, educate and consult on product readiness and connect trade to export-ready products through available programs, and cooperate in marketing programs in countries of mutual interest.

“Canada’s Indigenous communities are a rich and vitally important part of our country’s cultural fabric,” says The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. “Currently, there are more than 33,000 jobs as a result of Indigenous Tourism business in Canada, with a goal of increasing that to more than 40,000 by 2021. Growing a resilient Indigenous tourism industry is a win for everyone as it supports local communities and businesses, the country’s tourism sector and the Canadian economy.”

“I am incredibly proud of the high quality of authentic Indigenous experiences available across Canada and know it is viewed as a competitive advantage within the global marketplace,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “However without the support of Destination Canada in helping us market these experiences to the world, we would be confined to being hidden gems for only the most intrepid traveller. Instead, many visitors to Canada today come wanting to include at least one Indigenous experience into their itinerary.”

“The quality and diversity of Indigenous tourism experiences we have from coast to coast to coast sets us apart from other destinations,” says David Goldstein, President and CEO of Destination Canada. “Along with being a key driver for our industry, this partnership supports broader goals of building regional tourism in remote destinations. Destination Canada is proud to continue supporting the important work of ITAC.”

Since its inception in 2016 as the national tourism association supporting the sustainable growth and development of Indigenous tourism businesses across the country, ITAC has enjoyed a beneficial, reciprocal relationship with Destination Canada. In turn, Destination Canada has incorporated a diverse range of Indigenous experiences and businesses in its international marketing efforts.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) works to improve the socio-economic condition of Indigenous peoples through the provisions of economic development advisory services, tourism conferences, capacity development training and workshops, industry research and information for Indigenous 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 Indigenous tourism industry in Canada and works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. The ITAC Board is made up of Indigenous tourism industry representatives from each of the provinces and territories. For more information, visit www.indigenoustourism.ca

About the Destination Canada
Destination Canada markets Canada internationally as a premier four-season tourism destination. In collaboration with partners in the Canadian tourism industry, Destination Canada creates marketing campaigns designed to showcase the best our country has to offer. Destination Canada also provides research and industry data to our partners—equipping them to optimize their businesses. For more information, please visit: www.destinationcanada.com, follow @DestinationCAN and @ExploreCanada on Twitter.

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Media contacts:
Deirdre Campbell, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838, 250-882-9199 (cell) or deirdre.campbell@onlybeattie.com
Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: 604-639-4408 or keith@indigenoustourism.ca
Denyse Waissbluth, Destination Canada: mediarelations@destinationcanada.com

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