Collaboration, partnership, strategy and growth were the themes of the Alberta Indigenous Tourism Planning Day, held at the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino on November 6, 2017, and organized by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).
The planning day was a next step following ITAC’s extensive research and outreach to the local Indigenous tourism industry across Alberta earlier in the year. This outreach included online and in person surveys, where 98 per cent of respondents supported the development of an Indigenous tourism association for Alberta, led by Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs.
The goal is for the local Alberta Indigenous tourism community to launch an Alberta Indigenous tourism association in early 2018. ITAC has committed three years of support funding (2018-2021) of $65,000 per year or $195,000. ITAC has also identified 86 export-ready Indigenous tourism businesses and the goal for the new provincial organization is to grow tourism-related Indigenous businesses across the province.
Over 200 Indigenous entrepreneurs attended the workshop, with many staying on to attend the larger 2017 International Indigenous Tourism Conference, on November 7 & 8. Discussion themes for the day included community development; entrepreneurial development; artisan development; tourism marketing and experience development; and partnering for tourism growth.