Tourism is a major industry in every municipality in Canada. More and more, tourism strategies are being employed as a main economic driver and it’s true also for indigenous tourism as well. Partnering and supporting local indigenous tourism industry should be one of your main tourism strategy objectives.
There are several resources available to help guide you along in the development of incorporating indigenous tourism into your strategy including the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) includes over 20 Indigenous tourism industry organizations and government representatives from every province and territory in Canada. Through a unified Indigenous tourism industry voice, ITAC focuses on marketing, product development support, and creating partnerships between associations, organizations, government departments and industry leaders from across Canada to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Canada.
The organization has developed a number of resources including the Indigenous Cultural Experiences – National Guidelines which were created through national consultation with ITAC partners, industry, and support from the Federal Government through Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). The goal for ITAC was to create a user-friendly self-assessment and reference tool that would be valuable for both the Indigenous tourism industry and the Indigenous economic development community across Canada in the creation and expansion of Indigenous cultural tourism experiences.
Another place to start is through local Indigenous stakeholder engagement exercises to ensure you’re hearing and learning from the people in your own community. If you’re not connecting locally, then you’re likely missing out on the most valuable teachings and guidance on how to incorporate and support indigenous tourism. For more information, feel free to contact us to learn how to get started.