Advocating for the Future of Indigenous Tourism

This year, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) brought a bold proposal to the forefront – a request for a $33.25 million investment from the federal government for the upcoming budget commencing on April 1, 2024. Moreover, the new Tourism Growth Program, announced in Budget 2023, will further federal government investments in Indigenous tourism attractions with dedicated funding as part of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy — Canada 365: Welcoming The World. Every Day. 

Here is an overview of the association’s proposal:

  • Sustainable Workforce Fund $5M
  • Infrastructure + Destination Development Fund $8M 
  • Develop and Promote Tourism Assets Fund $19.5M
  • Market Indigenous Tourism for Major Events $750K

ITAC will leverage these investments with its own source revenues from the Indigenous Tourism Destination Fund. Moreover, the association envisions helping make Canada a global leader in Indigenous tourism. The association’s Vision 2030 goals are ambitious but attainable. ITAC aims to see the Indigenous tourism sector contributing a staggering $6 billion to the annual GDP, a significant increase from $1.9 billion in 2019.

Why $33 Million Investment Matters?

With this funding, ITAC will drive the growth of Indigenous tourism from coast to coast to coast ushering in a new era of economic reconciliation, employment opportunities, and cultural diversity.

Indigenous-Led Solutions for a Thriving Future

ITAC is committed to Indigenous-led solutions. The association understands the unique needs and aspirations of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis entrepreneurs communities developing their Indigenous tourism experiences, and this investment will empower ITAC to deliver vital programs that drive sustainable growth. These programs will focus on three key pillars:

Business Development: Support the establishment of 800 new Indigenous tourism businesses across Canada (up from 1,875 in 2019). These tourism operators will not only showcase the diverse cultures and traditions of Indigenous communities but also create a multitude of economic opportunities for Indigenous people.

Human Resource Development: Programs will prioritize skill development, training, and capacity building, allowing Indigenous individuals to find meaningful employment within the tourism sector. The goal is to create 21,000 new jobs by 2030 (up from 38,249 in 2019).

Marketing Initiatives: Spearhead marketing efforts to raise awareness of Indigenous tourism experiences within Canada and beyond. Through powerful storytelling, marketing campaigns, and promotion, ITAC will draw visitors to its members’ unique destinations.

The Ripple Effect of Investment

With consistent funding from the federal government, the Indigenous tourism industry will become a powerful economic driver. By 2030, it is projected that the industry will generate a staggering $857 million annually in federal, provincial, and municipal taxes. 

Join ITAC in Shaping the Future

The association is not only seeking financial support, but ITAC also invites you to join the association in shaping the future of Indigenous tourism in Canada. Together, we can make Canada a global leader in this sector, where Indigenous communities thrive, cultures are celebrated, and economic reconciliation is widespread.

TIAC Hill Days 2023 is a significant moment in this journey, and we look forward to advocating for the realization of our Vision 2030 with your support. ​​Thank you for being a part of this exciting journey towards a bold future for Indigenous tourism in Canada.

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