Strong commitment to Indigenous People and the tourism industry

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) applauds the strong support for Indigenous People and the tourism sector in the Speech from the Throne outlining the Federal Government’s priorities presented yesterday, September 23, 2020, by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada.

ITAC joined the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses (CHHB), which is an industry-driven group of over 40 stakeholders representing a variety of sectors including tourism, arts and culture, events and festivals, and hospitality. ITAC has been actively working with industry partners to advocate for an extension of the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program and based on the recent Speech from the Throne, it is clear that the Federal Government is listening.

“Thank you to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for listening to the priorities of the tourism and hospitality stakeholders,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “The throne speech provides ongoing solutions for Indigenous tourism and lays the foundation for updating work to sustain our entire tourism industry.”

The Government will be extending the CEWS program as well as taking further steps to help vulnerable businesses, including expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), improving the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), and introducing further support for industries that have been hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality, and cultural industries.

“ITAC has launched a four-year, $50 million Strategic Recovery Plan with the goal to respond, recover and rebuild the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada to levels experienced in 2019 by 2024,” says Henry. “We thank the government for listening and their much needed support and we hope they will continue to listen to our recommendations as we continue to advocate and work diligently to bring Indigenous tourism back to pre-2020 levels.”

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.  Prior to 2020, Indigenous tourism was outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall, and international demand for Indigenous experiences was at an all-time high. Due to COVID-19, ITAC recently released a report on the financial challenges facing Indigenous tourism operators and recommended stimulus solutions. As well, a 2020-2021 revised action plan focused on sustaining Indigenous tourism in the face of COVID-19 was released in March.

Media Contacts
Nicole Amiel, Beattie Tartan

Keith Henry, CEO
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

French media requests
Sebastien Desnoyers-Picard, Chief Marketing Officer
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada