October 25, 2019, Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC – On October 28-29, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) will be attending Focus Canada Japan for the first time to meet top Japanese travel agents and operators who send travellers to Canada.

“Research has shown that among Japanese visitors, there has been a 21 percent growth in interest in Indigenous culture, and with 290,000 arrivals in 2017, we see an immediate potential of over 500,000 travellers engaging with Indigenous tourism businesses over the next two years,” says Sébastien Desnoyers Picard, ITAC’s Director of Marketing, who will be attending the event held in Osaka, Japan.

Japan has been one of Destination Canada’s primary markets and is viewed as a mature market for outbound travel from Asia to Canada. Introducing Japanese travellers to the variety of Indigenous culture and adventure experiences available across Canada can help invigorate this important market.

“The Japanese are really keen on northern lights experiences and we recently had one of our stakeholders, Aurora Village ‘ViTeepee’ became a Canadian Signature Experience.  They offer an exceptional opportunity to see the aurora borealis,“ says Desnoyers Picard. “Japanese visitors also continue to be one of Canada’s highest yield visitors, with an average spend of $2,000.00 per visitor, not including their transportation to come to Canada. We are excited to explore how we can work together on this important and growing market.”

Joining ITAC will be Air North, Aurora Village and Enodah Wilderness Travel.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is the lead organization tasked with growing the Indigenous tourism industry across the country. Inspired by a vision for a thriving Indigenous tourism economy sharing authentic, memorable and enriching experiences, ITAC develops relationships with other groups and regions with similar mandates. By uniting the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada, ITAC works to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. With Indigenous tourism outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall, and international demand for Indigenous experiences at an all-time high, ITAC recently updated its five-year plan. To view packages and experiences available visit IndigenousCanada.Travel. For more information on ITAC visit IndigenousTourism.ca

Sébastien Desnoyers Picard,  Director of Marketing, ITAC

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