Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), (Vancouver, BC) – In the fiscal year 2021-22, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) continued to make great strides in returning the Indigenous tourism industry back to the historic results of 2019. Incremental gains and the dedication of a strong and strategic team allowed ITAC to continue to support its members by leveraging opportunities across the country.
The year saw ITAC engage in productive and collaborative partnership meetings to create the 2022-2025 Building Back Better – Reconciliation Through Indigenous Tourism strategy. ITAC signed important strategic MOUs with Parks Canada and Destination Canada, brought back an in-person National Indigenous Tourism Conference (NITC) with more than 300 delegates, balanced its budget and grew its membership across the country.
The focus for 2021-22 was to ensure Indigenous tourism businesses were well supported as travel starts to ramp up again. As key success indicators ITAC launched its new website, DestinationIndigenous.ca, secured several partnerships both domestically and internationally, increased engagement on social media platforms and overall increased their leadership in driving Indigenous tourism. ITAC’s marketing campaign, The Original Original, exceeded expectations, delivered an exceptional return on investment with over 260K direct leads to members, and out of 520 destination marketing organizations, it was recognized as the 7th best creative campaign in the world by Fast Company.
“I am very proud of the work ITAC has managed to execute through a pandemic that forced a great shift in our industry. We remain focused and are dedicated to ensuring Indigenous tourism comes back stronger and better than it was,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “All the success we have seen recently would not be possible without the strong leadership of our board of directors and the ongoing support from our funding partners, provincial and territorial partners, our staff, and our Indigenous tourism businesses across this country.”
The full recovery of the Indigenous tourism industry is possible by 2025 and ITAC has set aggressive goals to reach that target. ITAC will continue to leverage strong domestic and global demand for Indigenous tourism experiences and invest in a strategy to building Indigenous tourism back better and stronger than it was before.
Watch video recap of ITAC’s most recent successes below.