From November 10-17, 2023, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), in partnership with Destination Canada and some of the Indigenous Provincial and Territorial Partners and Indigenous tourism businesses, showcased Indigenous tourism at Canada Showcase Europe 2023 in Hamburg, Germany. This tourism trade show is a platform and marketplace where Canadian suppliers connect with European and British tourism professionals, creating an avenue to promote Canadian destinations, tourism products, and experiences.

Connecting Continents through Indigenous Tourism

Canada Showcase Europe is more than a marketplace; it’s an opportunity to strengthen business relationships and enhance sales within the European tourism industry. ITAC’s Director of Marketing, Tamara Littlelight and Communications Manager, Ryan Rogers, participated in CRD Tourisk’s North America Days 2023 on November 10 and 11, 2023, in Hamburg. 

CRD Tourisk’s North America Days 2023 consisted of insightful presentations by 40 partners hailing from the United States and Canada, delectable culinary offerings showcasing the flavours of North America, a captivating photo exhibition featuring works from Alberta, and engaging lectures, all complemented by a compelling competition spanning seven floors.

ITAC had a large booth at the event, featuring Indigenous tourism businesses as co-exhibitors. The Indigenous tourism businesses included in ITAC’s booth were Klahoose Wilderness Resort, Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours, and Coastal Rainforest Safaris. CRD Tourisk’s North America Days 2023 marked ITAC’s first consumer event of this kind!

Marketing Objectives: Beyond Borders and Business

The marketing objectives for CRD Tourisk’s North America Days 2023 extended beyond simple promotion; it aims to increase awareness, generate travel interest, and facilitate face-to-face communication. By understanding customer needs and desires, the event seeks to increase bookings, room nights, and the length of stay. Notably, the focus is on highlighting off-the-beaten-track destinations and off-season experiences. 

Indigenous Provincial and Territorial Partners: Centre of the Showcase

The heartbeat of this showcase lay in the participation of the Indigenous tourism operators and Provincial and Territorial Indigenous Tourism Partners who were in attendance, including:

Indigenous Tourism Operators

Coastal Rainforest Safaris 

Homalco Wildlife and Cultural Tours

Knight Inlet Lodge

Klahoose Wilderness Resort

Métis Crossing 

North Star Adventures

Sea Wolf Adventures

Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Wikwemikong Tourism

Provincial and Territorial Indigenous Tourism Partners 

Indigenous Tourism Alberta 

Indigenous Tourism BC

Indigenous Tourism Manitoba

Indigenous Tourism Quebec

Each organization contributed to the understanding and appreciation of Indigenous experiences from Canada, offering a glimpse into the rich heritage and natural beauty that awaits visitors.

Empowering Canada Specialists: Training at FVW Medien

Next, a comprehensive training event awaited participants. It was hosted at Germany’s leading travel trade publishing house, FVW Medien, and the Team Canada Specialists Program (CSP) event aimed to transform CSP members into ambassadors ready for the peak booking season. With advanced workshops and a virtual webinar, the event provided an interactive learning experience, fostering engagement and expertise among participants.

Adapting to Seasons: Strategy Session

On the morning of November 14, a strategic session was led by Destination Canada, bringing together Provincial Territory Marketing Organizations, tour operators, and receptive tour operators. This breakout group-style strategy session explored adapting to Canada’s seasonal opportunities, ensuring that the tourism industry aligns with the diverse experiences available throughout the year.

Travel Trade Appointments: Meetings with Keen Buyers

From November 14 to 16, over 100 travel trade representatives were present and  appointments were booked, including sessions with tour operators, receptive tour operators, and travel agents, underscoring the interest in collaborations and opportunities to bring more visitors to Indigenous tourism experiences in Canada. Media Engagement: Breakfast and Beyond

On November 17, the focus shifted to media engagement with a breakfast event and one-on-one appointments. Approximately 35 German media representatives attended; this session aimed to showcase tourism’s unique stories and experiences; including all of the provinces and territories that pitched their stories. Moreover, Indigenous tourism was well-represented, and Cohen Bradley shared a song. Also, high-value guests from publications, broadcasters, and TV production companies had the chance to explore stories from across Canada,  including Indigenous cultures in Canada.

As another edition of Canada Showcase Europe concluded, the event has proven successful, underscoring the significance of the German market and its keen interest in Indigenous tourism.. ITAC, along with its partners, is set to weave a narrative that goes beyond tourism—it’s an invitation to embark on a journey that transcends borders and leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those who embark on an adventure of Indigenous tourism in Canada.