Global awareness of national Aboriginal tourism industry dramatically increased at Rendez-vous Canada 2015

Six Nations Territory (Niagara Falls, ON) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) led a national marketing campaign to increase awareness of Canada’s Aboriginal cultural tourism industry by domestic and global buyers, during Canada’s largest international tourism trade show, Rendez-vous Canada (RVC), held in Niagara Falls, Ontario last week.

RVC brings together over 450 domestic and international tourism operators and travel agents, classified as buyers, from approximately thirty two (32) countries with Canada’s tourism sellers. The Aboriginal tourism industry is just one of the many selling organizations.

The strategic marketing work of ITAC paid off during RVC by raising excitement for Canada’s Aboriginal cultural tourism experiences as well as demonstrating the sophistication of the industry and ability to work with travel agents and tour operators throughout the world.

“RVC was successful in every aspect. The excitement brought more attention to our Aboriginal experiences and there was a marked increase in appointments from buyers in several markets,” says ITAC chairperson Keith Henry. “We had seventeen Aboriginal operators and marketing organizations attending our trade floor showcase through the ITAC efforts, twelve of which never attended RVC in the past. We created a beautiful trade booth design and this was noticed by delegates and provided the tourism industry a one window national approach to identifying authentic Aboriginal tourism in Canada.”

The Aboriginal cultural tourism industry has witnessed unprecedented growth across Canada reflected in the recent study commissioned by ATAC, which studied the economic value of Aboriginal tourism in Canada. Building on this momentum ITAC created and began implementing a global marketing plan. One milestone that ITAC envisioned was establishing the first national Aboriginal tourism showcase as part of the RVC trade show. In addition the marketing plan included an Aboriginal tourism show during lunch on one of the RVC days. Extensive work was completed prior to RVC including creating the new national ITAC brand, establishing the new national website portal, confirming protocol with the local Six Nations, identifying world class authentic Aboriginal experiences from across Canada to showcase.

“The lunch time show on May 29th was the highlight for most RVC delegates. ITAC featured traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture through fashion, music, cuisine, and art work. This was complimented through the welcome video featuring Aboriginal language greetings from several First Nation communities across Canada. In addition ITAC showcased several of the Aboriginal operators in a slide show for delegates,” says Henry.

“Thank you to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and the Government of Canada for supporting this work. I also want to thank Aboriginal Tourism of Ontario, Six Nations, and the Aboriginal tourism industry from across Canada. The ITAC marketing strategy was executed successfully and the excitement will lead to follow up from domestic and international tourism buyers from throughout the world.”

Travel media also attending RVC caught the excitement and media from the UK, Germany, France, Japan and US interviewed Aboriginal tourism operators.

ITAC will use the success of RVC to continue to implement additional international marketing strategies going forward as it brings the market ready Aboriginal experiences to the world. For more information about the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and to review the Aboriginal cultural tourism slide show and welcome video featured during RVC go to

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada:

Originally formed as the Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Circle, in 2014 the Aboriginal Tourism Association was formally established. Over 20 Aboriginal tourism industry organizations and government representatives from across Canada are represented with ITAC. Through a unified Aboriginal tourism industry voice, ITAC focuses on creating partnerships between associations, organizations, government departments and industry leaders from across Canada to support the growth of Aboriginal tourism in Canada.

Media contact:

Brian Cant, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838, 250-888-8729 (cell) or

Keith Henry, Chair, ITAC: 778-388-5013 or

Click here to download this press release as a PDF


Click here to watch the ITAC Aboriginal Operators Showcase PDF