Indigenous tourism supports the livelihoods of Indigenous entrepreneurs, the amplification of Indigenous culture and language and offers reconciliation opportunities to non-Indigenous travellers. For some, Indigenous tourism represents an opportunity to foster greater connection with the land and each other, leaving the world a better place for future generations.
With over 200 members, Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) is the fastest-growing Indigenous tourism organization in the country. ITA partners with Indigenous-owned businesses to create meaningful experiences that enable Indigenous Peoples to share their stories with travellers from around the world. They specifically focus on increasing the number and diversity of Indigenous tourism experiences in all corners of the province.
Authentic Indigenous tourism is a competitive advantage for Alberta. One in three international travellers are seeking authentic Indigenous experiences. On a local note, one in two Albertans is interested in Indigenous tourism.
The world wants Indigenous tourism, and the world wants authentic Indigenous experiences. Now is a unique time for Indigenous community members or individuals to dive into this space, if there is interest, because there is so much demand. I can tell you now, from all the sales missions I do with all our key markets, the number one conversation is Indigenous tourism.
In 2021, Travel Alberta made a significant commitment to grow Indigenous tourism through a three-year grant agreement with Indigenous Tourism Alberta. We have since built on this partnership, collaborating to build and enhance Indigenous tourism offerings across the province. On March 10, 2023, Travel Alberta signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITA, committing $6 million in direct and in-kind support — the largest-ever provincial commitment to Indigenous tourism.