Indigenous tourism operators not happy with recent federal budget

Published on : Friday, April 30, 2021

A group representing thousands of Indigenous-led tourism operators claims that it doesn’t believe that the recent federal budget will do adequate things to help the sector from keeping away from disintegration.

Canada’s Indigenous Tourism Association has requested the government for just over $68 million in three years to assist tourism by offering grants and a marketing campaign.

Instead, for 2021, there was about $2.4 million that the chief executive of the association says that it isn’t enough to provide that targeted help. Melanie Joly, the minister responsible, explained that she is aware of the fact that the intention of the association is to figure out a way forward.

She emphasized to work in the past through regional development agencies, which the minister as economic development supervises, to get support to Indigenous operators as one financial option to keep businesses in the small, but growing, sector from going under.

Additionally, to Indigenous businesses, there are other programs providing interest-free loans and non-repayable grants, and ease their access to capital.

“We’ve always found solutions together, and we will,” Joly said in an interview. “So we will be there to support Indigenous tourism businesses. That’s a promise that, of course, I will continue to keep.”

In the coming three year, , for tourism, the budget promised an injection of $1 billion, starting this fiscal year, stressed by no tourists and public health measures forcing festivals to call off several events.

Joly said that some portion of the budget money will cover the costs of innovative solutions to connect with the ones who visit festivals and help hard-hit downtown cores by extension, “There will not be a strong restart of our downtown cores in the country if there’s not a strong restart of the tourism sector,” Joly said.

Joly mentioned that the plan to endorse travel, once it is safer to do so, will be first thing to do within regions, then within provinces, and building ultimately to attracting international visitors.

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