The Original Original Accreditation creates a mark of authenticity and excellence for Indigenous market-ready businesses

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has officially launched The Original Original Accreditation program that identifies market-ready Indigenous tourism experiences which are truly authentic offering high quality and high value to visitors.

The Original Original Accreditation enables ITAC to apply consistent and fair criteria to any Indigenous business seeking formal recognition as being ‘Market Ready’. Accredited businesses will fall into three categories of Market Ready, depending on the market they are prepared to serve, which include Business Ready, Visitor Ready or Export Ready. This accreditation program is important to travel trade associations, international tour operators, travel agents, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), local communities and others to promote a quality tourism experience. The program also enables Indigenous tourism businesses to access lucrative travel trade networks and new visitor/consumer markets.

The Original Original Accreditation’s launch follows a successful pilot project that was developed in partnership with Tourism HR Canada, and included the accreditation of businesses such as Mahikan Trails, Tundra North and Metepenagiag Heritage Park.

The Original Original Accreditation program is now available to all Indigenous tourism businesses in Canada. Accredited businesses have proven they provide consistent quality, along with authentic, and safe visitor experiences. The accreditation criteria is based on recognized international organization quality standards (ISO) set by Tourism HR Canada, ITAC, provincial/territorial Indigenous tourism associations and in consultation with industry experts and top Indigenous tourism operators.

“The Original Original Accreditation program through RISE is now ITAC’s signature program to recognize high-quality authentic Indigenous tourism experiences across Canada,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “Businesses and experiences which are accredited will serve as leading examples of authentic Indigenous tourism operators continuing to showcase the value and diversity of Indigenous tourism experiences from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The accreditation program will ensure Indigenous owned and operated tourism businesses are being highlighted and recognized for delivering a quality experience.”

For those unsure if they are ready to go through The Original Original Accreditation, there is a self-evaluation checklist available through the program to help businesses self-evaluate their own readiness, which includes the ability to review the checklist of market ready features, decide on which designation to apply for and prepare information.

To begin The Original Original Accreditation program, click here.

For more information on The Original Original Accreditation program through RISE click here.