January 14, 2020, Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is honoured to be participating in the inaugural Indigenous Tourism Forum of the Americas from March 17 to 18, 2020 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The forum will mark the first time that Indigenous leaders from across the Americas will gather to discuss the important and timely topic of cultural heritage tourism. ITAC President and CEO Keith Henry will speak at the roundtable on “Fostering Partnerships and Financing Sustainable Indigenous Community Tourism.”
Driven by increasing traveller interest in authentic experiences that provide meaningful connections, particularly with people from other cultures, Indigenous tourism across the Americas is on the rise. In response, Indigenous communities—from northernmost Alaska to southernmost Chile—are welcoming growing numbers of visitors along with the opportunity to share their narratives and traditions, as well as generate additional income.
Henry will be joining global speakers from Indigenous communities, government, non-profit organizations and academic institutions to discuss how tourism can contribute to self-determination and quality of life. And although tourism presents enormous opportunities, many Indigenous communities face a similar set of challenges. The Indigenous Tourism Forum of the Americas was created to provide a platform for community leaders, policymakers and business owners to share their experiences, learn from one another, and better understand how to drive change through tourism without compromising their own cultural values.
“From our work across Canada as well as recently with Chile and Australia, there is no doubt that Indigenous tourism can grow and thrive globally if we collaborate and share our knowledge,” says Henry. “It is a real privilege to showcase the work we have achieved at ITAC and learn from Indigenous leaders from around the world.”
In addition to two days of panel discussions, workshops and tours, the forum will establish the launch of a movement to bring Indigenous people from across the Americas together to retrace connections, drive understanding, and create sustainable tourism opportunities for the future.
About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is the lead organization tasked with growing the Indigenous tourism industry across the country. Inspired by a vision for a thriving Indigenous tourism economy sharing authentic, memorable and enriching experiences, ITAC develops relationships with other groups and regions with similar mandates. By uniting the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada, ITAC works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. With Indigenous tourism outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall, and international demand for Indigenous experiences at an all-time high, ITAC recently updated its five-year plan. Additionally, ITAC just launched their Nations magazine, highlighting Indigenous people and experiences across the country.
To book packages and experiences, travellers can visit www.IndigenousCanada.Travel.
For more information on ITAC visit www.IndigenousTourism.ca
Deirdre Campbell, Beattie Tartan
Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
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