Travel Alberta offers $6M to ITA to promote Indigenous tourism

 Thursday, March 23, 2023 


The greatest provincial investment to the creation and promotion of Indigenous-owned tourism experiences has been announced by Travel Alberta and Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA), thus giving a financial boost to the indigenous tourism in Alberta.

The new commitment will see Travel Alberta offer the ITA with $6 million in direct and in-kind support over the next three years. The funding was announced during the International Indigenous Tourism Conference, which was held from March 8 to 10, 2023 in Winnipeg.

Shae Bird, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Alberta said, “We’re thrilled that our partnership with Travel Alberta continues to grow. It’s a truly reciprocal relationship that, not only benefits Indigenous entrepreneurs across the province, but supports Travel Alberta and the province’s tourism industry on its path toward reconciliation.”

Bird continued, “We’ve seen incredible growth over the first few years of this partnership and we are excited to see the benefits continue. Indigenous tourism will continue to play a vital role in strengthening Alberta’s visitor economy while supporting the revitalization and sharing of authentic Indigenous culture throughout these traditional territories.”

The investment, according to officials, will assist more Indigenous tourism operators in developing new goods, expanding existing services, and attracting more visitors to their experiences.

Alberta’s Minister of Forestry, Parks and Tourism, Todd Loewen said, “Alberta’s tourism sector is a key driver of revenue and jobs in communities across the province.”

He added, “Our government is committed to growing the tourism sector and supporting authentic Indigenous tourism experiences to preserve culture, language, and traditions.”

National Geographic named Alberta the leader in Indigenous tourism in October 2022.

The partnership between ITA and Travel Alberta started in 2021. In the past two years, Travel Alberta has provided $2.85 million to ITA.

The CEO of Travel Alberta, David Goldstein stated that, “The deepening of this ongoing seminal partnership speaks to our commitment to reconciliation and the empowering of Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities in all corners of the province.”

Goldstein added that, “Indigenous tourism acts as an important bridge between cultures, creating resilient, prosperous communities, and provides a touchstone for international visitors to Alberta.”

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