Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), (Vancouver, BC) – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has released their 2023-24 Action Plan.
The plan outlines ITAC’s vision for rebuilding the Indigenous tourism industry to peak 2019 levels of $1.9 billion contribution to Canada’s GDP and 39,000 employed in the industry. The plan also provides insight into the ambitious plan for Canada to become the global leader in Indigenous tourism by 2030 with an estimated contribution of $6 billion in GDP annually.
“We’re actively working towards recovery to 2019 record-breaking GDP, employment numbers, and number of Indigenous tourism businesses by 2025. Those targets remain our top priority.” shares Keith Henry, President & CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. “Our ambition doesn’t end there as we have set our sights on becoming the global leader in Indigenous tourism by 2030.”
ITAC is asking all its members and partners to sign a pledge and join Indigenous Tourism Team Canada to support Canada in becoming the global leader in Indigenous tourism by 2030. Download the pledge here, sign it, and then post a picture to social media using the #IndigenousTourismTeamCanada hashtag.
ITAC’s 2023-24 Action Plan builds upon its four-pillar approach to business launched in the 2022-23 Action Plan. Some notable changes to this year’s plan include:
- Leadership: This pillar is focused on advocating for the Indigenous tourism industry at a federal level. ITAC will expand participation and representation in national-level tourism organizations such as the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Parks Canada and Destination Canada.
- Partnerships: The second pillar is focused on strengthening and expanding government partnerships to support the ongoing recovering of Indigenous tourism. This year ITAC will provide $1.5M in support funding for accreditation programming, as well as host the largest Indigenous Tourism conference that brings together global industry leaders in Ottawa.
- Development: The third pillar encourages product development and investment from non-Indigenous provincial and territorial partners in Indigenous tourism and destination development, to ensure the industry remains competitive internationally. This year’s plan includes delivering $10M in national tourism funding as part of the Indigenous Tourism Fund. ITAC will support Indigenous tourism businesses through The Original Original Accreditation Program and support the gaps needed to make Indigenous tourism businesses market ready.
- Marketing: The final pillar focuses on continuing to promote Indigenous tourism and its positive community and cultural impacts with high-value, targeted marketing as well as through research, media and sales efforts. With a $3M marketing campaign, ITAC will support the growth of the Indigenous tourism sector, including the promotion of accredited Indigenous tourism businesses in The Original Original collection, increase direct sales efforts for businesses with online reservation systems, and a larger presence in key airports across the country and other significant places.
ITAC will continue to fully support its members and provincial-territorial partners working towards its 2022-25 Strategic Recovery Plan, Building Back Better: Strategic Recovery of Indigenous Tourism in Canada 2022-2025. ITAC is committed to ensuring the Indigenous tourism industry’s long-term sustainability and its healthy and prosperous recovery.
Read the full 2023-24 action plan here.