Huron-Wendat (Wendake-Nionwentsïo) (Québec City, QC) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s (ITAC) marketing team were at Rendez-vous Canada 2023 (RVC) last week and it was a incredible success promoting over 150 export-ready Indigenous tourism businesses!

Rendez-vous Canada is Canada’s signature international tourism marketplace, where the international travel trade connects with Canada’s tourism industry partners. The annual event rotates across Canada and provides 1300+ international tourism industry leaders an opportunity to meet one-on-one at the marketplace.

Keith Henry, ITAC CEO and President joined Marsha Walden, Destination Canada’s President and CEO, and Beth Potter, Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s President and CEO, to discuss the future of Canada’s tourism industry. Keith’s message of Indigenous tourism is reconciliation in action, and the association’s work with The Original Original mark of excellence is ready for the world was well received!

New this year, ITAC and Destination Canada hosted a networking space featuring stunning visuals that displayed ITAC’s members, The Original Original mark of excellence, and authentic artifacts graciously loaned to ITAC from Indigenous Tourism Quebec (ITQ).

In addition, the ITAC Mentorship Program brought five ITAC members to RVC under the association’s mentorship program. The association was proud to have First Nations Storytellers,
Indigenous Tourism Association of Prince Edward Island, One Crafty Mi’kmaq, B. Dene Adventures and Kina8at Ensemble join the ITAC marketing team.

There was significant interest in attending RVC, and ITAC wanted to ensure it created opportunities for ITAC members who had not attended and were interested. The program allowed this year’s mentees to join ITAC for one day to benefit from shadowing, observing, and networking within the RVC space.

Also new this year, ITAC was the Diamond Level Sponsor and hosted a crowd-pleasing luncheon for all delegates, in partnership with ITQ, to bring a tasty Indigenous meal, a fun and interactive Makusham dance, a live performance by Shauit from Maliotenam, and beautiful throat singing by Sandy Emudluk and Janice Parsons from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik—all which captivated the entire audience.

At the Indigenous Welcome Ceremony, Steeve Wadohandik Gros-Louis, President of ITQ and young emerging leader, Diego Gros-Louis, were part of the ceremony that drew a large crowd to witness an Indigenous tradition.

And Ryan Rogers, ITAC Communications Manager, presented an overview of what’s new at ITAC to media, showcasing and promoting diverse Indigenous experiences in Canada to a national and international crowd.

More ITAC Membership Representation

  • 52 ITAC member representatives from 10 provinces and two territories, including ITAC members who attend with their respective provinces, the ITAC Mentorship Program and the Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) mentorship program. The 52 members represented 153 export ready businesses
  • The Indigenous delegation included 99 participants
  • First-time attendance for 15 ITAC members, including five from the ITAC Mentorship Program and five from the ITA Mentorship Program
  • 36 ITAC booth spaces, including six provincial/territorial partners and three regional partners.
  • 24 of the ITAC members are accredited through The Original Original Accreditation Program.

With the overwhelming success of ITAC’s strong presence at RVC 2023, the association can’t wait to see what RVC 2024 will bring for the growing demand for authentic Indigenous tourism experiences and ITAC members from coast to coast to coast.