March 5, 2020, Algonquin Territory (Ottawa, ON) – In support of a relationship that has grown since the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) first launched in 2015, Keith Henry, President and CEO signed a new dynamic three-year partnership agreement with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).
The two organizations recognize they represent the national interests of a diverse group of companies and organizations, and therefore have a unique opportunity for greater alignment and collaboration. Examples include TIAC providing even greater advocacy support for ITAC as it promotes the growing impact Indigenous tourism has on economic development, and driving tourism and tourism development, across the country. ITAC and TIAC will also co-sponsor a series of Tourism Town Halls across Canada, providing the opportunity to further engage with owners and operators, providing front-line exposure to key decision-makers within federal, provincial and municipal governments.
“TIAC has become a critical partner for ITAC as we continue to educate the industry and governments on the benefits of a thriving, sustainable Indigenous tourism industry for Canada,” says Henry. “Through this partnership we are also providing our members with incentives to join TIAC and attend their annual Tourism Congress. Being connected into the industry, building relationships with other tourism leaders, and learning about opportunities and issues firsthand is an important opportunity for our members as we build capacity within our Indigenous communities.”
In turn, TIAC members will receive membership rates to attend the annual International Indigenous Tourism Conference, which this year is being held September 29 – October 1, 2020, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. TIAC will also help disseminate the important research conducted by ITAC to measure growth and opportunities for Indigenous Tourism. Last year, the Conference Board of Canada reported that Indigenous tourism growth is outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall, and direct economic benefits (GDP) from Indigenous tourism rose 23.2 per cent between 2014-2017, increasing to $1.7 billion. One of the biggest barriers to growth is access to financing, marketing support and hospitality training.
“The continuation of this very important strategic partnership between our organizations is paramount in ensuring that both organizations are collaborating to the fullest extent possible as Canada continues to navigate an increasingly competitive global marketplace,” said TIAC President and CEO, Charlotte Bell. “Over the years, TIAC and ITAC have forged an increasingly dynamic partnership in advancing Indigenous tourism growth as an integral part of Canada’s travel economy,” she added. “We are delighted to continue working closely with Keith and his team in the next three years. Together, we are stronger.”
About the Tourism Industry Association of Canada
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada is the only national organization representing the full cross-section of Canada’s $102 billion travel economy supporting 1.8 million jobs for Canadians. TIAC’s members include air and passenger rail services, airport authorities, local and provincial destination authorities, hotels, attractions, meetings and conventions and tour operators.
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.
For more information on ITAC visit www.IndigenousTourism.ca
Deirdre Campbell, Beattie Tartan
Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada