The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s (ITAC) renowned Accreditation Program recognizes Canada’s best Indigenous tourism experiences. Developed with an Indigenous lens, the first-ever quality standards for Indigenous tourism operators enable ITAC to apply consistent and fair criteria to any Indigenous business seeking formal recognition as being Market Ready. Indigenous tourism businesses that are Market Ready provide consistent quality, authentic, and safe guest experiences.

 

Program Background

The goal of ITAC’s Business Support Program is to help Indigenous tourism operators in Canada to meet market readiness standards. There are three different types of market readiness for Indigenous tourism businesses:

  1. Business Ready
  2. Visitor Ready
  3. Export Ready

Project Eligibility

The Business Support Program recognizes that market readiness evolves differently for each business, depending on things like the availability of resources, cash flow, and market conditions. Indigenous tourism operators must show different business features related to their products, services, marketing strategies, and operational practices to progress through the options for market readiness. As shown in the Accreditation Program, the business aspects of advanced market readiness fall into one of six categories.

  1. Effective Community Engagement and Support
  2. Excellence in Visitor Experience
  3. Ensuring Health, Safety and Comfort
  4. Practicing Sustainable Indigenous Tourism
  5. Excellence in Marketing and Visitor Services
  6. Demonstrating Business Acumen/Practices

Projects eligible for the Business Support Program must include activities in one or more of these categories. For ease, applicants will have the option to use a drop-down list to select eligible projects from one or all of the six categories.

Mandatory Requirement

Before applying to the Business Support Program, all applicants must fill out the Accreditation Program Self-Checklist.

Note: A business will need to register on the site first. This is the link to register and access the self-checklist.

Are you having trouble completing the Accreditation Program Self-Checklist? Watch the video below.

Are you having trouble applying? Watch the video below.

 

When a business has finished the Accreditation Program Self-Checklist, it is strongly encouraged to revisit this form and apply for funding.

Project Timeframe and Funding Available

Projects must be completed by March 31, 2023. The maximum funding per Indigenous business operator is $10,000.

$10,000 can be requested in one category, or budget can be divided across multiple projects from all six categories, but no more than $10,000, as a combined total can be requested. Due to the high volume of applications anticipated, ITAC may present an offer less than the full amount requested.

Reporting Requirements for Approved Projects

Applicants whose projects have been approved must submit a final report by April 30, 2023. A final report template will be sent to awarded projects by April 4, 2023. The template will ask for information on the project’s benefits and outcomes, as well as a description of the Accreditation Program business categories that were developed.