2016 International Aboriginal Tourism Conference


ITAC hosted the 2016 International Aboriginal Tourism Conference (IATC), in Membertou, Nova Scotia, on the Traditional Territory of the Mi’kmaw people, from December 12-14, 2016.

The conference was held at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre with over 300 delegates in attendance. Indigenous tourism operators from across Canada and around the world came together for three days of panel discussion, workshops, and keynote presentations. They also enjoyed local cultural experiences and a large exhibitor area that showcased the Indigenous Tourism Marketplace.

The theme of the conference was, “Building Effective Partnerships for Indigenous Tourism,” and it focused on strategies for building relationships and partnerships with non-government and government organizations, tourism marketing organizations, other tourism operators, and industry leaders.

“The energy and passion displayed… during [this] intense three-day conference was only heightened with the announcement by the Government of Canada and Indigenous and Northern Affairs [of a $3.15 million investment]. Their clear understanding of how a sustainable, growing Indigenous tourism sector drives economic development and supports not only Indigenous communities but all Canadians is so welcome by our leadership team,” said Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “We are inspired and empowered to continue to grow and we have the coast to coast team representation we need to really prosper.”

2016 IATC Conference

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Trade Show

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Government of Canada Investment Announcement

On the first day of the conference, December 13, 2016, the Government of Canada and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada announced an investment of $3.15 million for the implementation of ITAC’s five-year national strategy, the Path Forward 2016-2021. With the ongoing support of the Government of Canada ITAC will be empowered to enhance and support new Indigenous tourism experiences for future international and domestic visitors.

Indigenous Tourism Awards Gala

The conference concluded on December 14th, 2016 with the Indigenous Tourism Awards Gala where Indigenous tourism leaders from across Canada were honoured for their ongoing dedication to increasing the profile of Indigenous tourism experiences throughout Canada.

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Annual General Meeting

ITAC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held December 15, 2016 in Membertou, Nova Scotia following the 2016 IATC and celebrated the success and achievements from the past year. During the AGM 13 Board of Directors, one from each province and territory, and 3 Executive Committee members were instated.

ITAC board members represent a wide range of tourism partners from across Canada and will take on the responsibility of providing oversight and recommendations on implementation of the ITAC five-year strategy, as well as reporting on successes on a monthly basis.

2017 IATC Announcement

The 2017 International Aboriginal Tourism Conference will be held at the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino in Calgary, Alberta. Check back for future announcements on the 2017 conference, or sign-up for our email updates and have them conveniently delivered to you.

IATC Event Partners

Thank you to IATC event partners, Destination Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Parks Canada, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Tourism Nova Scotia, J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport, Destination Membertou, Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island and to our event supporters who include the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), and the Adventure Travel Trade Association.

Without the support of these partners the 2016 IATC would not have been possible. As a result of the critically important support of these partners and sponsors, the 2016 IATC has played an important role in advancing the development of Indigenous tourism in the Atlantic provinces and across Canada.

IATC Program, Videos and Presentations

The IATC agenda was created to provide attendees with multiple opportunities to find beneficial and collaborative partnerships, with the ultimate goal of building capacity across Canada, broadening global networks, and sharing best practices. Participants were offered workshops on Indigenous tourism experience development, shared Indigenous tourism industry research and marketing strategies, and presentations on key strategies to support growing local capacity for Indigenous communities.



 For information on the 2017 International Aboriginal Tourism Conference, visit iatc-canada.ca.



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