WestJet announces $100,000 commitment to help grow Indigenous Tourism across Canada


Three-year strategic national partnership with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada signed 

November 13, 2019, (Kelowna, Syilx Territory, BC (IITC)) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has significantly increased its wingspan after a $100,000, over three years, commitment from WestJet was announced today, during the International Indigenous Tourism Association Conference in Kelowna, Syilx Territory, BC (IITC).

“From launching Indigenous itineraries with WestJet this summer to announcing this invaluable multi-year commitment, WestJet is providing ITAC and our Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs endless opportunities to grow Indigenous tourism across Canada and showcase our experiences to global audiences,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC.

The strategic partnership will see WestJet and ITAC collaborate in the following areas:

  1. Enhancing export readiness of selected Indigenous tourism businesses as they ready for international visitors.
  2. Support the work and ambition of Indigenous youth entrepreneurs by supporting their participation at the IITC in 2020, 2021, 2022.
  3. Utilize WestJet’s inflight entertainment system to tell the story of the range of Indigenous tourism experiences via its inflight entertainment system both domestically and internationally.
  4. Collaborate on content and stories about Indigenous tourism to be featured in WestJet’s inflight magazine throughout the year.
  5. WestJet will become the official airline of the annual International Indigenous Tourism Conference which is held in new Canadian destinations every year.

“Bringing people together is what we do and, in that spirit, we are partnering with Indigenous peoples, entrepreneurs and youth of Canada by sponsoring ITAC,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “In doing so, we are proud to support Indigenous stories, history and culture across Canada and the globe.”

WestJet is collaborating on global initiatives with ITAC and Indigenous leaders including the blessing of WestJet’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the airline’s Dreamliner hangar. In early May 2019, WestJet partnered with Destination Canada and ITAC on an Indigenous tourism showcase in London, UK, to help grow opportunities and inform the global travel industry of the importance of indigenous tourism, a unique and developing sector of the Canadian tourism industry.

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.  To view packages and experiences available visit IndigenousCanada.Travel. For more information on ITAC visit IndigenousTourism.ca

About WestJet

Together with WestJet’s regional airlines, WestJet Encore and WestJet Link, we offer scheduled service to more than 110 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 250 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas.  Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacation packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.

WestJet is proud to be recognized for three consecutive years as Best Airline in Canada (2017-19) and awarded among travellers’ favourite Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (2019). From 2017-2018, WestJet was also awarded among travellers’ favourite Mid-Sized and Low-Cost Airlines in North America. The airline was also recognized among the Economy Class winners in North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site. We are one of the very few airlines globally that do not commercially overbook.

WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit WestJet.com.

Media contacts:
Jessica Harcombe Fleming, Beattie Tartan
403-614-6175 (cell)
Jessica.HarcombeFleming@BeattieGroup.com

Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
604-639-4408, 778-388-5013
Keith@IndigenousTourism.ca

Lauren Stewart, WestJet Public Relations
Media@WestJet.com

For a selection of images and video assets please click on this link.

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