October 24, 2018, Territory of the Three Fires Confederacy (Windsor, Ontario) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Ontario (ITO) have signed a memorandum of understanding to further the growth of authentic Indigenous market and export-ready businesses in Ontario.

The three-year agreement will advance the important work ITO has done as a leader and pioneer in Indigenous tourism awareness, development, and marketing in Ontario. ITAC recognizes ITO as its key partner in Ontario for growing the largest Indigenous tourism industry in Canada, with growth in revenues, jobs, and successful businesses.

“This MOU is a milestone moment for the growth of Indigenous tourism across Canada and signals that our national priorities are in alignment with the opportunities for growth in Ontario,” says Keith Henry, President & CEO of ITAC. “I am incredibly proud of this agreement and look forward to working with the ITO team.”

Over the next three years, ITO will align with ITAC through its strategic planning, marketing and branding, organizational policies and by-laws, business development approach, research efforts, industry partnership opportunities, and organizational leadership, overseeing an Indigenous-controlled, industry-led, not-for-profit Indigenous tourism association.

ITAC is committed to providing ITO annual organizational development support funding to build and strengthen the development of ITO’s industry-led, not-for-profit provincial Indigenous tourism association. ITO members in good standing automatically gain access to basic-level membership status with ITAC.

“We are excited about the potential that this new agreement with ITAC brings to Indigenous tourism in Ontario,” says Kevin Eshkawkogan, Executive Director of ITO. “Our industry is growing rapidly and the alignment of goals and objectives between our provincial organization and ITAC is ideal.”

ITAC will be assisting ITO in reaching out to provincial and regional support agencies for funding commitments and organizational support in order to maximize the opportunity that Indigenous tourism has to increase marketplace interest in visiting Ontario and to assist economic growth and independence of Indigenous entrepreneurs.

For more information, visit www.IndigenousTourism.ca or https://indigenoustourismontario.ca.

About Indigenous Tourism Ontario

Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is the province’s first and only dedicated Indigenous tourism organization that focuses on uniting communities, Indigenous organizations and industry leaders to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Ontario. Through product development and marketing of authentic Indigenous experiences, ITO establishes a platform for Indigenous cultural expression and preservation through tourism. For more information, visit  https://indigenoustourismontario.ca/.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) works to improve the socio-economic condition of Indigenous peoples through the provisions of economic development advisory services, tourism conferences, capacity development training and workshops, industry research and information for Indigenous tourism operators and communities within the 13 regions; 10 provinces and three territories of Canada. ITAC develops relationships with other groups and regions with similar mandates, uniting the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada and works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. ITAC also just released their brand new experience guide, detailing Indigenous experiences across Canada, in which visitors can learn about the values of the respect, honour and integrity that guides our communities while discovering the traditional territories, history, people and culture that has been a part of our country for centuries. To down load the full 2018/19 Guide to Indigenous Tourism in Canada go to: https://indigenoustourism.ca/indigenous-tourism-experience-guide/. The ITAC Board is made up of Indigenous tourism industry representatives from each of the provinces and territories. For more information, visit www.indigenoustourism.ca.


Media contacts:
Jenna Hickman, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838, 250-215-8425 (cell) or jenna.hickman@beattiegroup.com

Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: 604-639-4408 or keith@indigenoustourism.ca