Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada Releases New Five-year Strategy After Reaching Economic Targets Ahead of Schedule


Conference Board of Canada report shows Indigenous Tourism is growing faster than initial estimates

October 30, 2018, Treaty 6 Territory and Homeland of the Métis (Saskatoon, SK) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) announced its new five-year strategy today, after already exceeding all economic forecast goals originally laid out for 2021.

The economic forecasts are presented in partnership with the Conference Board of Canada, who will release a full report on Indigenous tourism economic impacts at the end of November 2018.

ITAC’s new targets for 2024 will see total Indigenous tourism revenues contributing $2.2 billion to the annual Canadian GDP, 49,383 total jobs in Indigenous tourism, and 200 export-ready indigenous tourism experiences across Canada.

“Due to the accelerated growth of Indigenous tourism in Canada, we are happy to unveil a new plan of increased investment to reach aggressive targets in the future,” said Keith Henry, president and CEO of ITAC. “Our work will continue to focus on ITAC’s strategic pillars, with a vision of a sustainable, strong and growing Indigenous tourism industry in Canada.”

ITAC is halfway through their previous five-year strategic plan, titled The Path Forward, which was implemented in 2016, and had economic targets outlined to reach by 2021. The Path Forward initiative includes four strategic pillars; development, marketing, leadership and partnership.

The new plan calls for new investments in culinary tourism, artisan authenticity, research, and more.

The organization’s original 2021 target for Indigenous tourism jobs in Canada was 40,233 jobs. Currently, the Conference Board of Canada estimates that the Indigenous tourism industry includes 41,153 jobs within Canada. Additionally, ITAC reported that Indigenous tourism contributed $1.8 billion to the Canadian economy this year, well above their target of $1.7 billion for 2021.

Henry presented the new five-year plan at the seventh annual International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC) today. The 2018 IITC will see over 500 delegates taking part in panel discussions, breakout sessions, keynote presentations and local cultural experiences and will bring together delegates from the Canadian tourism industry, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities, as well as representatives from global Indigenous tourism organizations to discuss Indigenous tourism topics, barriers, opportunities and trends across Canada and the world.

This year, the theme is, “The Indigenous Tourism Economy: Learning Together and Sharing Our Stories.” The full schedule is available online at https://www.indigenoustourismconference.com/agenda/.

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. ITAC also just released their brand-new experience guide, detailing Indigenous experiences across Canada, in which visitors can learn about the values of the respect, honour and integrity that guides our communities while discovering the traditional territories, history, people and culture that has been a part of our country for centuries. To down load the full 2018/19 Guide to Indigenous Tourism in Canada go to: https://indigenoustourism.ca/corporate/indigenous-tourism-experience-guide/. 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.

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Media contacts:
Jenna Hickman, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838, 250-215-8425 (cell) or jenna.hickman@beattiegroup.com

Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: 604-639-4408 or keith@indigenoustourism.ca

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