A new foundational research study commissioned by Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) and prepared by Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES) shows Ontario’s Indigenous tourism industry is an important voice that needs to be supported for Ontario to remain at the forefront of Canada’s Indigenous tourism industry.
The report indicates Ontario leads the way in jobs and GDP employing 53% (12,924 jobs) of Canada’s Indigenous tourism sector while having a direct economic impact on Ontario’s GDP of $622.1 million. Ontario Indigenous tourism operators are responsible for over 35% of the $1.7 billion contribution to the national GDP. Indigenous tourism has shown rapid growth by increasing by 23.2 % between 2014 and 2017, surpassing Canada’s overall tourism activity growth by 8.7%.
ITO is well aligned, positioned, and ready to support Ontario’s Indigenous tourism industry in an effective and efficient manner. The outcome of this research report is to provide concrete action items and strategies for supporting and growing Indigenous tourism in the province of Ontario. ITO will use the research to further shape its organizational strategy moving forward. By aligning and collaborating with partners such as the Regional Tourism Organizations, Destination Ontario, members of/and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation, and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, ITO can effectively and efficiently grow the visitor economy as a whole.
About Canadian Ecotourism Services
Canadian Ecotourism Services (CES) is an ecotourism development firm with over 20 years of experience with Indigenous communities across Canada and abroad. CES’ expertise in business development, stakeholder consultations, planning, and research has allowed them to identify innovative solutions for destination development in unique environments. CES utilizes innovative planning and community development methodologies with a triple bottom line approach for producing sustainable and responsible tourism projects. www.CanadianEco.com
About the Indigenous Tourism Ontario
Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is a provincial non-profit and membership association which focuses on creating aligning and forming partnerships between businesses, associations, organizations, government departments, and industry leaders from across Ontario and Canada to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Ontario and Canada while addressing the demand for development and marketing of authentic Indigenous experiences. ITO has an established membership process that enables Indigenous tourism industry partners to engage with and show support for Indigenous tourism. For more information, visit www.IndigenousTourismOntario.ca.
Kevin Eshkawkogan, Indigenous Tourism Ontario: (705) 368-1919, (705) 348-0179 (cell) or at KEshkawkogan@IndigenousTourismOntario.ca