National Aboriginal Tourism Showcase Program: Call for Applications


The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is pleased to issue the following CALL FOR APPLICATIONS to qualified Aboriginal tourism businesses and Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Organizations to participate as sellers in the National Aboriginal Tourism Showcase Program in April 2016.


ITAC created the National Aboriginal Tourism Showcase Program initiative to increase participation from qualified Aboriginal tourism providers in the upcoming Rendez-vous Canada travel tradeshow being held April 24th – 27th in Montreal, Quebec.

Rendez-vous Canada is Canada’s premier international tourism marketplace, led by the Destination Canada (DC), connecting international tourism buyers with sellers of Canadian tourism experiences and products. The event reunites more than 1,500 international tourism professionals gathered over four days for a series of 12-minute appointments to promote and discover unique Canadian tourism experiences. RVC is an important industry-trade platform for Canadian and Aboriginal communities to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for tourism products and experiences. http://rendezvouscanada.travel/welcome/.

There is a growing global demand for authentic Aboriginal cultural tourism, prompting ITAC to unveil the inaugural national Aboriginal tourism section on the tradeshow floor during RVC. This showcase is designed to feature authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences, while facilitating productive business connections with domestic and international buyers.

Aboriginal tourism businesses or Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Organizations must submit a letter of interest (two pages maximum) to provide information about their business or marketing organization in order to participate in the National Aboriginal Tourism Showcase Program.

Please also include name of your representative for your business or organization in the address by email or fax to:

Keith Henry – Chair/CEO
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
300-3665 Kingsway Vancouver, BC
V5R 5W2
Phone: (604) 639-4408
Fax: (604) 435-8181
Email: k.henry@aboriginalcanada.ca

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 4:00 PM PST. ITAC will review submissions and confirm successful applicants on or before January 26, 2016.

The Process:

  • ITAC is undertaking a call of interest to Aboriginal partners, and receive and vet applications. Early indication that this section may comprise 25 partners and some 13-15 booth spaces.
  • ITAC will provide RVC Project Office with list of approved partners on or about January 26th
  • RVC will issue official invitation to participate, along with username/password to register on the RVC website to ITAC approved National Aboriginal Tourism Showcase Program Objective is to have approved Aboriginal partners registered in the RVC system by end of January or by end of first week of February at the latest.
  • ITAC will cover approximately half of the costs (TIAC member rate) and includes one full delegate fee.   Half-booth will be partnered with another half-booth and share an 8′ x10′ booth space. Each approved Aboriginal business will receive individual schedules and maximum of 34 appointments. Please note an Aboriginal participant can increase appointments but registering for concurrent sessions for an additional fee which may result of a full appointment schedule of 68.
  • RVC will invoice ITAC once all Aboriginal partners have registered.
  • For Aboriginal partners already registered (prior to ITAC call of interest), RVC Project Office will process and provide refunds once we receive final approved list from ITAC.
  • RVC will waive the late fee charges
  • Aboriginal partners can make a request for an upgrade booth space (half-booth to full booth), add additional delegates or concurrent appointments at their own individual expense at time of RVC registration
    • Cost to upgrade booth space to a full 8′ x 10′ booth space – $1,000 (includes full 68 appointment schedule). Note upgrades are based on space availability and will be confirmed before appointment requests commence on March 1.
    • Additional Delegate – $975
    • Concurrent appointment option – $275

Information on for sellers can be found at http://rendezvouscanada.travel/sellers-info/

Information on key dates can be found at http://rendezvouscanada.travel/event-schedule/key-dates/

Seller / Buyer Appointments Requests Begin:

  • March 1, 2016

Deadline for Appointment Requests:

  • March 18, 2016

Appointments Posted:

  • March 28, 2016

In order to qualify, Aboriginal tourism businesses or Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Organizations must meet the requirements in accordance with the criteria provided in Appendix A.

Space is limited so apply early!

For more information about the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada go to www.IndigenousTourism.ca.

Appendix A – Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria for Aboriginal tourism businesses

Aboriginal tourism businesses must be “Market-Ready” to ensure the following:

  • Has been operating in a safe and professional manner for at least one year
  • Carries adequate insurance totalling no less than $2 million in liability
  • Has current business and operating licenses, registrations and permits
  • Has a website that honestly and accurately represents an Aboriginal tourism business
  • Accepts credit cards and debit cards as means of payment
  • Handles reservations/inquiries by telephone, fax and email on a year-round basis
  • Handles and is able to provide confirmation of booking arrangements within 24 hours
  • Has a product that is of interest to tourists, both domestic and international

In addition, Aboriginal tourism businesses must also ensure the following “Export-Ready” criteria are also met:

  • Demonstrate an adequate budget and marketing plan
  • Understand the roles played by receptive tour operators, tour operators, travel wholesalers, and retail travel agents and understand rack or retail pricing, agent commissions and wholesale net rates at each level
  • Be willing to include receptive tour operators in the marketing and sales plan and provide contracted wholesale net rates to receptive tour operators
  • Provide detailed pricing and program information to tour operators and wholesalers at least one year in advance of selling season
  • Be prepared to set up billing arrangements with the tour operator, wholesale agency or receptive tour operator
  • If planning to pursue group business, ensure ability to accommodate and adapt to the needs of the market (e.g. tour bus access and parking, washroom facilities, maximum group size, group pricing, and frontline staff that speak the language of target markets)
  • Carry adequate insurance (receptive tour operator can sometimes add suppliers to their existing policies at nominal cost)
  • Provide support (free or reduced rates) for international media and travel trade familiarization tours
  • Offer currency exchange rates consistent with industry norms

Selection criteria for Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Organizations

Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Organizations are organizations or committees that represent a specific provincial, territorial, or regional Aboriginal tourism destination. They serve as the “official” contact point for the destination for tour operators, individual visitors or meeting professionals.

Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Organizations registering as sellers must:

  • Represent Aboriginal tourism destinations
  • Have an international marketing plan and represent market ready/export ready Aboriginal tourism businesses

Click here to download National Aboriginal Tourism Showcase Program: Call for Applications as a PDF.