ITAC and Travel Manitoba Celebrate Inaugural Power of Indigenous Tourism Summit in Winnipeg, MB


May 31, 2018, Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg, MB) – More than 100 delegates attended the Power of Indigenous Tourism Summit held this week in Winnipeg, MB, a joint venture between the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Travel Manitoba.

The successful one-day summit was focused around attendees exploring the areas of development, marketing, and authenticity of Indigenous tourism in Manitoba through workshops and presentations by Indigenous tourism experts from across Canada. In addition to learning about the growing Indigenous tourism industry in other provinces, summit delegates reviewed findings of a recent research project by ITAC and Travel Manitoba which identified more than 50 Indigenous tourism businesses in Manitoba, with and outlined opportunities from an industry perspective, potential branding opportunities and ideas, and recommendations for next steps.

“Indigenous tourism is important in how we can talk about ourselves as spiritual and cultural people,” says David Daley, Chair of the Manitoba Indigenous Tourism Advisory Committee and owner of Wapusk Adventures in Churchill, Manitoba. “Our communities have an opportunity to be a key part of the growing Manitoba tourism economy”.

Over lunch, the keynote address was delivered by Mikael Willie, owner and operator of Sea Wolf Adventures in the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw – the Great Bear Rainforest. Willie shared his experience in conceptualizing, creating and leading an export-ready tourism product, the challenges he has faced, and the successes he has had to date.

“Manitoba is home to compelling and nationally significant chapters of Indigenous stories that resonate with visitors,” says Colin Ferguson, President & CEO of Travel Manitoba. “And as the inventory of Indigenous Manitoba tourism experiences continues to grow, fostered by this partnership between ITAC and Travel Manitoba, our province will boast even more iconic Canadian experiences to attract international visitors”.

In addition to the research findings and Willie’s keynote address, facilitated discussions resulted in the industry prioritizing Indigenous tourism experiences of festivals, wildlife viewing, land-based activities, culinary and immersive cultural experiences as the experiences with the biggest opportunities for growth for Manitoba, while describing Indigenous tourism in Manitoba as authentic, strong, respectful, welcoming and passionate.

“We are incredibly proud to see the high level of engagement among the Manitoba tourism industry, especially with the strong representation among our Indigenous tourism partners in the province,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “We have outlined a number of positive next steps and will look forward to working with our partners as we implement them in the months to come.”

Power of Indigenous Tourism Summit Presentations

ITAC is pleased to share the following presentations from the Power of Indigenous Tourism Summit, as downloadable PDFs.

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 Travel Manitoba
Travel Manitoba is the only public/private non-profit tourism marketing organization that provides a province-wide platform to promote Manitoba as a premier travel destination. Travel Manitoba is a Crown corporation whose role is to provide leadership by collaborating with tourism businesses, communities, destination marketing organizations and governments to realize the full potential for tourism in Manitoba. For more information visit www.travelmanitoba.com

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Media contacts:
Brian Cant, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838, 250-888-8729 (cell) or brian.cant@onlybeattie.com
Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: 604-639-4408 or keith@indigenoustourism.ca
Colin Ferguson, Travel Manitoba: 204-291-9355 or coferguson@travelmanitoba.com

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