Ancestral Homelands of the Plains Tribes, including the Lipan Apache, Comanche and Tonkawa, Austin, Texas –  Destination Indigenous (part of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada) attended South By Southwest (SXSW) held in Austin, Texas, from March 8-16, 2024. Creative Manager Zane Buchanan represented the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) at Canada House Austin, focusing on the vital role of Indigenous tourism in fostering reconciliation in Canada. 

SXSW, renowned for its convergence of film, interactive media, music festivals, and conferences, provided an ideal platform to showcase the unique offerings of authentic Indigenous tourism experiences. With its diverse sessions, panels, screenings, and networking opportunities, SXSW offered a prime setting to engage with a broad audience and amplify our message.

Zane Buchanan presented his 30-minute keynote on Indigenous storytelling, underscored ITAC’s commitment to promoting Indigenous culture, heritage, and tourism internationally. Moreover, Zane’s participation served as preliminary research aimed at devising strategies for enhanced engagement at future SXSW events. ITAC is keen on targeting high-value American travellers, leveraging SXSW’s global reach and influence to raise awareness about Indigenous tourism experiences in Canada.

By actively participating in events like SXSW, ITAC not only elevates the profile of Indigenous tourism but also contributes to broader conversations surrounding reconciliation, cultural exchange, and innovation. ITAC’s efforts align with its mission to provide leadership in developing and marketing authentic Indigenous tourism experiences through innovative partnerships.

The association looks forward to leveraging insights to inform its future marketing strategies and amplify the impact of Indigenous tourism experiences. Moreover, ITAC expresses gratitude to Canadian partners: the Canadian Consulate, Telefilm Canada, and the Canadian Independent Music Association! Without their unwavering support, ITAC’s tourist engagement research at SXSW would not have been possible.