Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), (Vancouver, BC) – On November 16, 2022, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) teamed up with Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC), Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA), Indigenous Tourism Quebec (ITQ), Destination Canada and UK-based tour operator, Audley Travel to showcase Indigenous tourism experiences from across the country to Audley Travel’s clientele at the Wolfson Room and Gallery in London, UK.
This was the first-ever event hosted by Audley Travel highlighting Indigenous tourism, which is a significant development for the UK-based tour operator named the largest operator of its kind in this market by the Financial Times. The event showcased the richness and diversity of Indigenous tourism experiences from coast to coast to coast bringing a spectacular evening of Indigenous culture, culinary, knowledge sharing and storytelling to the nearly 200 guests in attendance, including 150 Audley Travel clients, representatives from ITAC, ITBC, ITA, ITQ, media and other invited guests.
“ITAC is committed to working alongside our Provincial and Territorial Indigenous Tourism Partners from coast to coast to coast,” says Keith Henry President and CEO of ITAC. “It has been tremendous seeing the overwhelming interest and support from the UK market and in particular our partners at Audley Travel to include Indigenous travel experiences. Working together, we will build the Indigenous tourism sector in Canada back in a good way. This is a strong action towards the path of reconciliation.”
Specializing in tailor-made vacations and private tours, Audley Travel already sells some Indigenous experiences in Canada but is looking to expand its offerings. To provide a breadth of understanding and appreciation of Indigenous experiences throughout the country, a number of Indigenous tourism businesses were in attendance at the event including:
- Klahoose Wilderness Resort;
- Sea Wolf Adventures;
- Coastal Rainforest Safaris;
- Borealis Beading, artisan Melanie Gamache;
- Warrior Women, storyteller Matricia Bauer.
“It is a pleasure and a reward to work with our Canadian tourism partners and other partners focused on sustainability and social responsibility, like Audley Travel,” says Brenda Baptiste, ITBC Chair. “The level of interest at Audley’s first-ever Indigenous-led client event lets us know that global travellers are seeking and choosing to add Indigenous experiences to their tailor-made trips. We thank Audley Travel for helping us share Indigenous experiences, stories, and values with their clients in the UK.”
“We are delighted to have been able to partner with Destination Canada and ITAC to host the first consumer event of this kind in the UK,” says Daniel Robb, Chief Marketing Officer of Audley Travel. “Our clients appreciate authentic experiences in the destinations they visit, and this event has been a great way to showcase Indigenous products available for them to book in Canada with Audley.”
“We love working with Audley Travel to showcase the legendary experiences Canada can offer their clientele,” says Marsha Walden, President and Chief Executive Officer, Destination Canada. “They are the perfect partners to engage worldly travelers who have genuine curiosity, an appreciation for nature and culture, and a desire to get to know the communities they visit. This first-ever event was a superb collaboration with our Indigenous tourism partners from all corners of Canada.”