According to new research conducted by Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and The Conference Board of Canada

October 30, 2018, Treaty 6 Territory and Homeland of the Métis (Saskatoon, SK) – Indigenous tourism in Canada contributed $1.8 billion to the annual GDP last year, according to a joint research initiative from the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and The Conference Board of Canada (CBoC).

The $1.8 billion is a $412 million increase from 2015, where Indigenous tourism was estimated to have contributed a total of $1.4 billion to the Canadian GDP.

The research was announced today at the seventh annual International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Due to the growing demand, Indigenous tourism businesses have expanded to 1,878 in 2017, from 1,579 businesses in 2015. This increase has led to 139 export ready Indigenous tourism experiences in 2017 – up from 80 in 2015.

One of the largest areas of growth is the reported increase in Indigenous tourism jobs. There were 41,153 total jobs in 2017, compared to 33,112 jobs in 2015, a total increase of 8,041 jobs.

“The growth we are seeing within the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada is quite profound,” said Keith Henry, president and CEO of ITAC. “The rapid rate in which numbers are rising, across the board, is really exciting to see and for Canada’s tourism industry overall.”

The two-day International Indigenous Tourism Conference (#2018IITC) started today and will see over 500 delegates taking part in panel discussions, breakout sessions, keynote presentations and local cultural experiences.

2018IITC will bring together delegates from the Canadian tourism industry, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities, as well as representatives from the global Indigenous tourism organizations to discuss Indigenous tourism topics, barriers, opportunities and trends across Canada and the world.

This year, the theme is, “The Indigenous Tourism Economy: Learning Together and Sharing Our Stories.” The full schedule is available online at
* Please note, these initial estimates from CBoC will be finalized and released in a full report at the end of November 2018.

About the Conference Board of Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is a not-for-profit Canadian think tank dedicated to researching and analyzing economic trends, as well as organizational performance and public policy issues. The CBoC is exclusively funded through the fees they charge for services to the private and public sectors.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) works to improve the socio-economic condition of Indigenous peoples through the provisions of economic development advisory services, tourism conferences, capacity development training and workshops, industry research and information for Indigenous tourism operators and communities within the 13 regions; 10 provinces and three territories of Canada. ITAC develops relationships with other groups and regions with similar mandates, uniting the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada and works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. ITAC also just released their brand-new experience guide, detailing Indigenous experiences across Canada, in which visitors can learn about the values of the respect, honour and integrity that guides our communities while discovering the traditional territories, history, people and culture that has been a part of our country for centuries. To download the full 2018/19 Guide to Indigenous Tourism in Canada go to: The ITAC Board is made up of Indigenous tourism industry representatives from each of the provinces and territories. For more information, visit


Media contacts:

Jenna Hickman, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838, 250-215-8425 (cell) or

Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: 604-639-4408 or

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