VANCOUVER — The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is launching a new marketing campaign — Destination Indigenous — in an effort to encourage, highlight and educate travellers about the many Indigenous experiences that will welcome Canadians this summer.
Rolling out on June 21, in line with National Indigenous People’s Day, the marketing campaign includes the release of an experience web-booking platform that will link travellers with export-ready Indigenous-tourism business accepting visitors this summer; a series of Zoom backgrounds showcasing Indigenous-experience imagery from each province and territory; and a video campaign called ‘Virtually Yours’ to entice tourists.
“As a global leader in advancing Indigenous tourism, our goal is to help create, support and market Canada’s Indigenous cultural experiences in a memorable and authentic way that embraces our collective efforts, honours our traditions and demonstrates our unity,” says Keith Henry, president and CEO of ITAC. “To help achieve this, we’ve created Destination Indigenous to simplify the process for visitors wanting to discover the heritage of our country by providing a one-stop-shop where they can find the amazing experiences that our Indigenous communities have to offer.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting global tourism, Canada’s Indigenous tours, activities and communities welcomed visitors from around the world — sharing rich, transformative travel experiences that showcase a modern, authentic culture. Destination Indigenous celebrates this once-thriving sector in the hopes of leading it on a path to recovery, linking travellers to an emotional experience that flows from a grounding with the natural environment, a sense of welcome, positive interactions, a feeling of vibrancy and a desire to connect.
“Now more than ever, in light of the drastic effects that COVID-19 has had on the Indigenous tourism sector, it is important to promote and support the Indigenous tour, activity and experience operators that have welcomed visitors from around the world into their communities,” says Henry. “With over 40,000 people employed by this industry, we have turned our efforts to advocacy — requesting much-needed federal financial relief for businesses — and now, towards the promotion of domestic tourism through the Destination Indigenous campaign.”
The campaign will continue to roll out new elements to promote and support the tourism industry towards recovery and resiliency over the coming months.