Agreement with CYTS Sparkle Tour will promote Indigenous tourism experiences in the Chinese luxury travel market

June 26, 2018, Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) President & CEO Keith Henry has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese tour operator CYTS Sparkle Tour Ltd. during the Government of Canada’s trade mission to China that celebrates the Canada-China Year of Tourism.

The memorandum of understanding will act as a framework that supports the common interest of promoting Indigenous tourism in Canada to the Chinese luxury travel market. CYTS Sparkle Tour will market authentic Indigenous tourism experiences from Canada, which is an expansion of their North American tour packages. ITAC will work to immediately promote 12 of their export-ready experiences to this market and plans are already underway to develop a tactical marketing campaign with their new partner in China.

“I am incredibly proud to represent Indigenous tourism in Canada as part of this trade mission and to see the interest in authentic Indigenous experiences,” says Keith Henry, President & CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. “Signing this agreement with CYTS Sparkle Tour will allow us to reach a coveted market of discerning Chinese travellers who see Indigenous tourism experiences as an essential part of any trip to Canada.”

Through the Canada-China Year of Tourism mission, Canadian tourism industry leaders have the opportunity to promote Canada’s tourism offerings and meet key stakeholders in the Chinese tourism industry through business-to-business matchmaking and briefings from trade and tourism experts. A number of key business development events—in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai—are helping delegates gain a better understanding of this market and forge important partnerships with Chinese operators.

The delegation comprises tourism industry leaders from across Canada, including the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, Parks Canada, Destination Canada, and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

“As we celebrate the Canada-China Year of Tourism, this tourism trade mission to China provided a tremendous opportunity to open new markets and to develop and build on existing relationships for our federal, provincial and territorial partners and tourism businesses. It was exciting to witness the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada sign its first-ever partnership agreement in China on marketing Indigenous tourism so that more Chinese families come to Canada and discover unique Indigenous experiences.”

– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

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. The ITAC Board is made up of Indigenous tourism industry representatives from each of the provinces and territories. For more information, visit


Media contacts:
Brian Cant, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838, 250-888- 8729 (cell) or

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

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