(July 20, 2018) – The government of Alberta is funding a new tourism association that will help Indigenous entrepreneurs and their communities start tourism businesses, create jobs and offer visitors an authentic experience.
The province has provided a grant to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to help create a provincial group, Indigenous Tourism Alberta. The money will support the development of a provincial strategy for the organization, resources for entrepreneurs and Indigenous communities, and product development that helps tourism businesses improve their operations.
“The formation of Indigenous Tourism Alberta is an important milestone for Indigenous tourism development in the province,” stated Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ricardo Miranda. “The Government of Alberta’s support will help meet the growing demand from visitors for authentic and educational tourism experiences. It will also empower Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities to share their stories and enable them to create jobs and give visitors a meaningful, cultural experience.”
The $315,000 investment is jointly funded by the ministries of Culture and Tourism and Labour. Labour has provided $125,000 of the total grant to support the development of resources and workshops for Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses. Culture and Tourism contributed the remaining $190,000 and is managing the full value of the grant. In addition, Travel Alberta provided $50,000 towards the provincial strategy for the new organization.
“Our government values the cultural, social and economic contributions of all Indigenous people in Alberta,” remarked Christina Gray, Minister of Labour. “This new association will create jobs, further our ongoing work of reconciliation and teach Albertans and visitors about our province’s rich and diverse history.”
Indigenous tourism development is part of the Government of Alberta’s continued investment in the tourism sector to diversify the economy, create jobs and generate investment in communities across the province.
“Awareness and interest in the Indigenous tourism experiences throughout Alberta is increasing year over year as more visitors explore our cultural and physical landscapes,” stated Brenda Holder, chair of Indigenous Tourism Alberta. “ I look forward to this partnership and the ongoing work that will further enhance the role of Indigenous tourism across our province.”
In 2017, the Government of Alberta provided $120,000 to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to evaluate the state of Indigenous tourism in Alberta and identify and develop support capacity.
“We are incredibly pleased to have in place the development of a strategic approach to sharing the unique, authentic Indigenous tourism experiences in Alberta,” stated Keith Henry, president and CEO of Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. “We look forward to working with all levels of government, our partners and stakeholders to ensure visitors to the province seek out and enjoy everything from outdoor adventures to cultural activities.
Photo Caption: Indigenous tourism partners gathered on July 20, 2018 at the Tsuut’ina Nation Culture Museum to announce the formation of Indigenous Tourism Alberta.