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The 2024-25 Federal Budget Dedicates $2.5M to Indigenous Tourism through the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC)

Press Release

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), (Vancouver, BC) – April 17, 2024 – Yesterday the federal government introduced its 2024-25 budget dedicating $2.5 million to Indigenous tourism, thanks in part to the advocacy work of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).

“We’re pleased with the allocation of dedicated funds to ITAC in Budget 2024, signalling government confidence in ITAC and backing of a national coordinated Indigenous tourism strategy.” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “This is a great first step, and we hope to see continued and long-term stability for the Indigenous tourism sector.”

ITAC aims for stable long term funding

While ITAC is pleased with the $2.5M investment for this year, they will continue to advocate for more stable long-term  funding that will help the continued growth of this fast-growing sector.

Under ITAC’s 2024-25 Action Plan, the organization has ambitious goals to make Canada the world’s leader in Indigenous tourism by 2030. Moreover, the 2024-25 Action Plan highlights key priorities: Infrastructure & Destination Development, Building a Sustainable Tourism Workforce, and Business Development & Promotion. With the appropriate funding, ITAC has an action plan to:

  • Add 800 new Indigenous tourism businesses (currently there are 1,900)
  • Add 21,000 new Indigenous tourism jobs (currently there are 39,000 employees)
  • Contribute $6B to Canada’s GDP (currently is $1.9B)

Indigenous tourism contributed $1.1B in wages and salaries

The Indigenous tourism industry has profound impact on Canada’s economy. Most significantly, Indigenous tourism contributed to:

  • $1.9 billion annually to Canada’s GDP in 2019
  • $1.1 billion in wages and salaries
  • $800 million in tax revenues to all three levels of government in Canada in 2024
  • $3.7 billion in revenues
  • Employing +39,000 workers
  • Supporting +1,900 Indigenous businesses across Canada

“It took years of strategic thinking, coordination and advocacy for our industry to make it the success it is today,” continues Keith. “We know this industry has so much more potential and opportunity to make an impact on both Indigenous communities and Canada’s economy. Indigenous tourism is a path to reconciliation, and with the right investment and long-term vision, Canada is poised to become the world leader by 2030.”

Indigenous tourism contributes to reconciliation

Investment in Indigenous tourism not only benefits the Canadian economy, it is always an avenue for reconciliation in Canada when led by Indigenous People. It provides economic stability, cultural preservation and celebrates Indigenous voices that are often overlooked.  Indigenous tourism allows Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs to share their stories, in their way, with both domestic and international travellers.

ITAC would like to thank The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism, for her leadership in supporting investments in the association.

Please click for more information on ITAC’s 2024-25 Action Plan.

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About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is a national non-profit Indigenous tourism industry organization established in 2015. ITAC is the lead organization tasked with growing and promoting the Indigenous tourism industry across the country. Inspired by a vision for a thriving Indigenous tourism economy sharing authentic, memorable and enriching experiences, ITAC develops relationships with groups and regions with similar mandates to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism businesses in a respectful protocol.

English Media Requests

Krystal Carter
tartanbond on behalf of ITAC
1-647-271-2274
krystal.carter@tartanbond.com

French Media Requests

Jen Dulude-LeBlanc
tartanbond on behalf of ITAC
1-403-707-7549
Jen.leblanc@tartanbond.com

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