November 21, 2019, Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) — The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) wrapped up its eighth annual International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC) last week, bringing together over 700 delegates and tourism industry leaders from across the globe.
“This year’s IITC was the largest and most successful to date,” says Keith Henry President and CEO of ITAC. “I am so proud of our team and incredibly thankful for all of our sponsors and delegates who are working tirelessly to grow Indigenous tourism within Canada.”
This year’s conference hosted 64 speakers, including four keynote speakers; Jordin Tootoo – the first Inuk player in the National Hockey League, Mary Point – Indigenous Relations Manager at the Vancouver International Airport, Anne Murray – Vice President of Airline Business Development and Public Affairs at the Vancouver National Airport, and Sarain Fox – host of APTN’s Future History and RISE on VICELAND.
During the conference the following announcements were made:
- ITAC signed an MoU with the Indigenous Culinary Association of Nations (ICAN)
- ITAC signed its first strategic partnership within the private sector with WestJet
- ITAC announced its new partnership for travel packages and corporate travels with Indigeno Travel
- ITAC signed an MoU with the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando)
- ITAC launched their new travel brand #DestinationIndigenous
- ITBC signed an Indigenous Tourism Accord in partnership with the provincial government
- Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association signed a regional pledge ‘7 Affirmations for 7 Generations’ with ITBC.
There were also multiple winners at the Indigenous Tourism Awards Gala, in which many Indigenous entrepreneurs were celebrated for their achievements in Indigenous tourism.
The ninth annual IITC will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 29th – October 1st, 2020.
The success of this year’s conference would not be possible without the support of our great conference partners:
- Destination Canada
- Indigenous Tourism BC
- Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
- Tourism Kelowna
- Parks Canada
- Tourism HR Canada
- Ottawa Tourism
- Know History
- Centennial College
- Lavin Agency
- Travel Manitoba
- Destination British Columbia
- Tourism Vancouver Island
- Kootenay Rockies Tourism
- Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
- Northern British Columbia Tourism
- Indigeno Travel
- Tourism Kamloops
- Destination Greater Victoria
- Travel Alberta
- Tourism Industry Association of Canada
- Tourism Nova Scotia
- Tourism Industry Association of BC
- The Update Company
- Spirit Bear Coffee
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. With Indigenous tourism outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall, and international demand for Indigenous experiences at an all-time high, ITAC recently updated its five-year plan. Additionally, ITAC just launched their Nations magazine, highlighting Indigenous people and experiences across the country. To book packages and experiences travellers may visit IndigenousCanada.Travel.
For more information on ITAC visit IndigenousTourism.ca
Deirdre Campbell, Beattie Tartan
Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada