WINNIPEG — At the opening of the recent Manitoba Indigenous Tourism Association (MITA) Virtual Summit, an updated Manitoba Indigenous Tourism Strategy was recognized and celebrated.
Initially launched two years ago, the strategy was developed in collaboration with Travel Manitoba, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and the Manitoba Indigenous Tourism Advisory Committee to help grow Indigenous tourism in the province and promote Indigenous experiences.
“Indigenous tourism experiences are an important part of visiting Manitoba and an opportunity to improve the socio-economic environment for Indigenous communities,” says the Honourable Alan Lagimodiere, Minister for Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations.
Since its launch, the Manitoba Indigenous Tourism Strategy has progressed, with increasing market-ready and export-ready Indigenous-owned experiences and securing more than $1-million in funding for Indigenous businesses that supports tourism development and COVID-19 recovery.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 brought the global tourism industry to a standstill and it has had a deep impact on Manitoba’s Indigenous-tourism sector,” says Colin Ferguson, president and CEO of Travel Manitoba. “The updated strategy recognizes the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 and provides direction for the future.”
“Leadership and collaboration are necessary for the Indigenous-tourism sector in Manitoba to recover and prosper and this begins with a robust and vibrant tourism association that has a strong voice to lead and advocate for the sector,” says Dave Daley, Board Chair of MITA and owner of Wapusk Adventures in Churchill, Man. “Indigenous tourism is about telling our stories, sharing our culture and contributing to the economic viability of local communities and the province as a whole. This strategy gives us the framework to survive and recover as a sector so that we can continue to meet this potential and tell our stories.”