OTTAWA, March 30, 2016 – Tourism HR Canada and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada are pleased to announce a new formal working relationship that will see the two organizations cooperate on working towards common goals. This agreement will focus on addressing labour and skills shortages in the tourism sector and increasing workforce participation by Aboriginal people in the Canadian tourism sector.

The tourism sector relies heavily on youth as a source of employees, with over 500,000 Canadian youth working in the sector today. While the Aboriginal youth population is growing, the percentage of youth in the rest of the Canadian population is decreasing steadily. With its reliance on young workers, Aboriginal youth present tourism sector businesses with a significant opportunity to further attract, train, and retain future business leaders.

As the Canadian population ages and labour shortages increase, Canada’s tourism sector will need to continue to look to under-represented labour groups in order to meet growing labour demands. Today, 57,000 Aboriginal people are contributing to the vibrancy and growth of the Canadian tourism economy.

“Employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in tourism are in demand and growing. Our partnership with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada will focus on addressing labour and skills shortages and on increasing workforce participation by Aboriginal people across Canada, both of which greatly contribute to delivering authentic tourism experiences” said Philip Mondor, President of Tourism HR Canada.

Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, Chair and CEO Keith Henry stated, “ITAC has created a new national strategy to increase Aboriginal tourism throughout Canada. The strategy includes increasing the Aboriginal tourism employees to grow and create new Aboriginal tourism businesses. Creating this new partnership with Tourism HR Canada is an important step to assist the industry and we look forward to the coming years.”

About Tourism HR Canada

Tourism HR Canada is a national organization working for the tourism sector in Canada, a $88.5 billion industry employing over 1.7 million people, including over 57,000 Aboriginal people, most of whom are youth. One of Tourism HR Canada’s main goals is to improve the quality and mobility of the Canadian tourism workforce, by providing individuals with the skills they need for successful careers, and by providing businesses with the labour market intelligence they need to recruit, develop and keep top performers.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Originally formed as the Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Circle, in 2015 the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) was formally established as a national non-profit Aboriginal tourism industry organization. Today ITAC includes representation from 15 Aboriginal tourism industry representatives and organizations. 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.


For more information, contact:

Vince Accardi, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development
Tourism HR Canada
(613) 231-6949 Ext. 236

Keith Henry, Chief Executive Officer Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
(604) 639-4408

Click here to download the signed Memorandum of Understanding in PDF format.

Click here to download a PDF version of this Press Release.