As the official host of Rendez-Vous Canada, and on behalf of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and our 63 Indigenous delegates at 2021 RVC+, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our tourism partners, buyers and sellers gathered here virtually to kick off (hopefully) the return of tourism. As the national Indigenous tourism organization, we are honoured to create a space where 44 export-ready Indigenous tourism businesses will connect with international travel professionals, proudly showcasing the diversity and richness of experiences across our country.
Indigenous cultural experiences are among Canada’s most sought after tourism experiences both domestically and internationally, with research from Destination Canada indicating that more than 1-in-3 visitors are interested in Indigenous culture. These experiences are not only important to preserve and share Indigenous culture but they also contribute to the economic viability of Indigenous communities, many of whom rely on the tourism industry to employ and provide sustainable income for their members.
Like the rest of the industry, Indigenous tourism has been hit extremely hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, we know that by working with our partners on long term solutions we will sustain our beautiful but devastated sector. We look forward to continuing to support an important and growing industry for many years to come and ITAC remains committed to secure the funding and support needed to ensure Indigenous tourism in Canada remains a global leader for offering outstanding experiences.
Have a great virtual Rendez-Vous!
President & CEO
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada