The Original Original mark of excellence assures visitors of a quality tourism experience. It is displayed by businesses that offer products and services that are truly authentic and that have been accredited by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).
Any business that earns the accreditation is demonstrating that they have the right standards in place to deliver a quality experience to visitors. These standards are set by Indigenous tourism operators for Indigenous tourism operators and the program enables ITAC to apply consistent and fair criteria to any Indigenous business seeking formal recognition as being ‘Market Ready’.
About the Program
The Original Original Accreditation is important to travel trade associations, international tour operators, travel agents, Destination Canada, destination marketing organizations (DMOs), local communities and others to promote a quality tourism experience. The program also enables Indigenous tourism businesses to access lucrative travel trade networks and new visitor/consumer markets.
The Original Original Accreditation Program looks at recommended practices in six important areas of business:
- community engagement and support
- visitor experience
- health, safety and comfort
- sustainable Indigenous tourism
- marketing and visitor services
- business acumen/practices
Entrepreneurs or new businesses may have different priorities to start, often focused on establishing a good footing – one that will ensure their business practices will be sustainable and profitable. Mature businesses may seek to grow or broaden their markets, which often involves investments in further infrastructure and new and more complex business practices. RISE enables qualified Indigenous tourism businesses to be recognized as ‘Market Ready’ in one of three options, depending on their current business model and aims:
- Business Ready
- Visitor Ready
- Export Ready
Wondering how this program fits with Project RISE and ITAC’s National Guidelines? This accreditation program is the evolution of Project RISE and replaces the previously published National Guidelines for Indigenous tourism in Canada.
The Benefits of Accreditation
Businesses accredited to use The Original Original mark of excellence will be given priority treatment in ITAC’s marketing programs and will have access to exclusive development and marketing opportunities. More information on these benefits will be released soon.
To give all ITAC members time to become accredited, there will be a transition period where ITAC’s existing marketing incentives will be phased out and then replaced by the new incentives program.
- Download the application guide and complete the self-evaluation checklist to see where your business fits into the market readiness levels
- Decide on which designation you will apply for: Business Ready; Visitor Ready; or Export Ready
- Prepare your information
- Complete your application
The application process is completed through the Insite application portal. Go there and register as a new user. Once you log in you will have access to additional information about the program and you can start your application. The application process may take you some time but it doesn’t need to happen all at once. You can leave the application and return to it as often as you need to. This gives you a chance to look for additional information or seek assistance with any question, where needed.
Questions and Support
View The Original Original Accreditation Program Frequently Asked Questions HERE.
If you have questions about the accreditation program or need help getting your application completed, please email Accreditation@IndigenousTourism.ca.
Are you having trouble completing the self-evaluation? Watch the video below.
ITAC recognizes and thanks ISED for the funding for this project.