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Indigenous Tourism Alberta – Request for Proposals for Builder Block Series

Press Release

Project Needs

Indigenous Tourism Alberta is seeking proposals from Contractors/Vendors to award a contract for a Builders Block Series to be completed by February 15, 2023. ITA seeks a collaborative partnership that prioritizes effective, innovative, and continually improving strategic Development activities in ways that support ITA’s goals and respects Indigenous culture, diversity, and Protocols.

Acknowledgment

Indigenous Tourism Alberta acknowledges that we are on traditional territories in Alberta, home to many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who have called these territories home for time immemorial. We acknowledge with respect the traditional territories of Treaty 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10. We also acknowledge the homelands of the Métis, the 8 Métis Settlements, the 6 Métis Regions of the Métis Nation of Alberta, and the diverse histories and cultures of all the Indigenous Peoples of this province.

Background

Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) is a non-profit organization devoted to helping grow and promote authentic, sustainable, and culturally rich Indigenous tourism experiences we want to share with the world. ITA is seeking an agency partner who can work with the ITA development team led by the Director of Development in developing and executing a Builders Block Series. This series will inspire ITA members to improve their companies’ marketing preparation, making Indigenous experiences part of the integral tourism experiences in Alberta.

This RFP aims to develop a Builders Block Series, which will compose a program for In-Development, Visitor-Ready, Market Ready, and Export-ready Indigenous Tourism businesses, along with a Builders Block toolkit.

Introduction

Vendors are invited to submit proposals for furthering development tools for their company through business funding. This RFP will be conducted to maximize the benefit to ITA while offering members a fair and equitable opportunity to participate. Vendors are advised to pay careful attention to the wording used throughout this RFP. Failure to satisfy any term or condition of this RFP may result in an unacceptable proposal. The agency must provide all submissions in English.

ITA Economic Sustainability Goals

1. Strengthen the quality of Alberta’s Indigenous tourism experiences to be competitive with other Canadian travel destinations once domestic and international travel re-open.

2. Increase awareness and demand for Indigenous tourism in Alberta.

3. Change the common traveler perception that all Indigenous tourism experiences are the same.

4. Align the efforts and interests of Alberta’s tourism industry under a common Indigenous tourism strategy by partnering with the Government of Alberta and Travel Alberta.

5. Sustain Alberta Indigenous Tourism membership.

6. Stimulate Indigenous Tourism Alberta members via Development Stimulus.

ITA’S KEY PRIORITIES

1. Maintain and sustain the ITA membership base.

2. Rebuild sustainable market-ready and export-ready Indigenous tourism products.

3. Lead the future development of Alberta’s Indigenous tourism industry.

4. Increase demand for Alberta’s Indigenous tourism experiences through domestic travel marketing campaigns.

Requirements

Indigenous Tourism Alberta wishes to develop a Builder Block Series- a program to help ITA members grow in their market preparedness from being in-development to Visitor Ready, Visitor Ready to Market Ready, Market Ready to Export Ready, and expanding on current Export Readiness as defined by Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s National Standards.

This RFP is for the development of a toolkit and program/workshops.

Project objectives and activities

The project will include:

  • Develop a “Builder Block Series” program to assist ITA Members in determining the next steps for their business to move forward in market preparedness. The program should focus on moving in-development companies to be visitor-ready, Visitor Ready to Market Ready, Market Ready to Export Ready, and expanding on current Export Readiness. The program could include in-person workshops, online business coaching, training modules, etc. A focus should be on utilizing immersive learning and Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, and being.
  • Develop a “Builder Block Series Toolkit” to be used to assist ITA Members in determining the next steps for their business to move forward in market preparedness. The Toolkit is expected to contain (but is not limited to):

Components of the following resources documents:

The Toolkit will include the following components:

  • Tourism Resource Assessment – a document that provides a clear and thorough step-by-step process by which an Indigenous entrepreneur would assess and consider:
  • their existing tourism business and experiences
  • Current infrastructure and future infrastructure needed
  • their short-term and long-term goals for tourism development
  • potential partners with which to collaborate on tourism projects and opportunities

Business Support Assessment – a document that provides existing entrepreneur supports available to them

Vendors will also be expected to:

Collaborate with, and complement ITA’s current activities, staff members, and partners.

Work closely with ITA’s team to ensure relevant consistency with ITA’s current programs and initiatives.

Deliverables:

  • Develop a “Builders Block Series”
  • Develop a “Builders Block Series Toolkit”

Project timeline: October 1, 2022, to February 15, 2023

Budget:

$95 000

The Vendor will demonstrate success in the following service categories, including but not limited to:

  • Financial allocation
  • Indigenous Tourism Industry knowledge and applicable experience
  • Ability to report back on deliverables achieved etc.
  • Development program planning and execution
  • Fostering strategic partnerships with stakeholders in the tourism industry will be critical, including national, provincial, and regional partners.

Contractors/Vendors will also be expected to:

  • Collaborate with and complement ITA’s current activities, staff members, and partners.
  • Work closely with ITA’s development team to ensure relevant content and creative being built by ITA for development activities are being created and utilized effectively.
  • Develop rigorous account management, project management, development  measurement, financial management, and program accountability tools

ITA Responsibilities

In collaboration with the successful members, ITA will engage with the member to better understand their specific company’s needs to further the organization’s preparedness to welcome guests.

Performance Measurement

After the program’s creation, the Vendor and ITA will perform a partnership review to improve the partnership’s effectiveness. The Agency partner(s) will also be required to provide formal feedback to ITA.

ITA’s Discretion

Notwithstanding any other provision contained in this RFP or otherwise, ITA in its sole discretion, may:

  • Accept any proposal that represents the best overall value, irrespective of whether such proposal represents the lowest price;
  • Amend, cancel or reissue this RFP in whole or in part at any time for any reason, or postpone or forego the RFP altogether, all in its sole discretion and without any liability or penalty to ITA or ITA personnel;
  • Waive any non-material defect, irregularity, mistake or insufficiency in the RFP;
  • Obtain clarification on any aspect of a proposal without being obliged to seek clarification on all other suggestions; and
  • Terminate negotiations with the selected Vendor if the terms and conditions of the agreement cannot be finalized after a reasonable period.
  • ITA or any person or entity retained by ITA for this RFP shall not be liable or accountable for any error or omission in this RFP or responses provided to questions from Vendors regarding any matter related to this RFP.
  • ITA shall not compensate or be liable to any vendor for any costs incurred by the Vendor in the preparation, submission or consideration of the Vendor’s proposal or the negotiation of the agreement. All costs associated with preparation, submission or consideration of proposals or negotiation of the agreement shall be the Vendor’s sole responsibility.

Evaluation Criteria

ITA will look for clear evidence throughout the RFP submission where vendors are delivering on a value-for-money approach addressing the following:

  • Overall efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully strategize and develop a robust program focussing on tourism development enhancement of Indigenous tourism businesses.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver relevant and timely reporting and insights.
  • Must demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively with the Development team.
  • Must demonstrate a performance measurement system and the ability to quantify and analyze program results.
  • Ability to identify and manage risk.
  • Demonstrate success in strategic planning and account management.
  • Demonstrate ability to develop and operate with accountability, including systematic planning, decision documentation, cost and time estimates, work-back schedules, and timely invoicing.
  • Must demonstrate sufficient financial and technological resources to support the account.
  • Must demonstrate capabilities and experience with tourism development.
  • Must provide a published breakdown of resource rates for key service providers.
  • Must provide a list of accounts/clients, across all industries, in the past three years.
  • Demonstrated evidence of innovative thinking.
  • Ability to conduct business with very strong English written and verbal communication skills.
  • Consideration will be given to agencies with a demonstrated ability to work with Indigenous organizations or an understanding of Indigenous culture and Protocol.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

10% Presentation

  • Corporate presentation, completeness and clarity of proposal

25% Financial

  • Quoted fee and breakdown of fee

25% Qualifications and Experience

  • Experience working with Indigenous communities, similar project experience and background in tourism planning and development

25% Methodology and Approach

  • Ability to meet project timelines, innovative ideas, presentations, supports

15% References

  • Strength of references for whom the consultant has provided similar services

Indigenous Tourism Alberta reserves the right to select one or more vendors for further consideration following the initial proposal evaluation process.  Indigenous Tourism Alberta may require in-person presentations or interviews with vendors selected for final consideration, prior to negotiating a vendor contract.

Proposal submission

Please submit proposals to Indigenous Tourism Alberta Director of Industry Development [email protected] All proposals received by August 15, 2022 will be considered.

Questions of clarification may be directed to:

Mackenzie Brown

Director of Industry Development

Indigenous Tourism Alberta

[email protected]

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