Programs will provide financial relief for Indigenous tourism businesses across Canada

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BCMarch 27, 2020 – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) recognizes that during these uncertain times, its shared singular focus for 2020-2021 must be on COVID-19 recovery and preparing for future tourism seasons. Because of this, ITAC has created the COVID-19 Development Stimulus Fund, dedicated to addressing the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous tourism businesses by affecting positive change.

“Typically our grants programs are actioned in the fall, but given our current circumstances, we have created the COVID-19 Development Stimulus Fund immediately,” said Keith Henry ITAC President and CEO of ITAC. “We are allocating all of the development grant money along with a large amount of savings from various line items and redirecting all of these resources into this program. Our goal is to provide a significant increase to the grants in order to help Indigenous entrepreneurs and their businesses stay afloat during these difficult times.”

The overall goal of this program is to assist in providing relief for Canadian Indigenous tourism businesses that are being affected by the impacts of travel restrictions and physical distancing recommendations. This program will allow businesses to prepare for future tourism seasons by allowing them to focus on things like market awareness, training qualified staff and designing sustainable business growth strategies.

“This program is intended to assist as many Indigenous tourism businesses as possible from across Canada. Without the help of the federal government, there are limited funds available and therefore the funding amount for any one applicant will be up to a maximum of $25,000,” said Henry.

The COVID-19 Development Stimulus Fund announcement comes on the heels of the release of ITAC’s rewritten business plan for their upcoming fiscal year 2020-21, in response to the considerable negative impacts of COVID-19 on the global tourism industry.  

ITAC remains united in the face of the detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with its strategic partners at the Government of Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, Export Development Canada and regional development agencies to sustain the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada.

More information on the COVID-19 Development Stimulus Fund, including the form to apply can be found here.

The full 2020-2021 COVID-19 Action Plan is available here

To view all our communications around COVID-19 and the different programs available, please click here.


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. Additionally, ITAC just launched their Nations magazine, highlighting Indigenous people and experiences across the country. 

For more information on ITAC visit

Media Contacts
Deirdre Campbell, Beattie Tartan
250-592-3838, 250-882-9199 

Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
 604-639-4408, 778-388-5013 

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