ITAC and Trans Canada Trail collab

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Trans Canada Trail have committed to work together to promote tourism destinations focused on authentic Indigenous experiences.

Trans Canada Trail manages the world’s longest recreational trail network. The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the desire for a long-term relationship in support of ITAC and Trans Canada Trail’s objectives.

“Indigenous tourism provides unique experiences to Canadians as well as international visitors and drives economic growth for Indigenous communities,” said Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance Honourable Randy Boissonnault. “This partnership between the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and Trans Canada Trail will not only help create memorable and sustainable outdoor experiences for visitors from all horizons all year long but also will showcase and develop authentic world-class attractions this place, our home, has to offer.”

ITAC President and CEO Keith Henry, and Trans Canada Trail President and CEO Eleanor McMahon, signed the MOU at the 2023 International Indigenous Tourism Conference hosted in Winnipeg.

“Both organizations will work with their members and trail operators to develop exceptional trail experiences and authentic Indigenous experiences through accreditation programs delivered by each organization,” said a Mar. 13 press release.

The MOU will:

– Link Indigenous experiences and trails that can be accredited by ITAC’s Accreditation Program.
– Provide an opportunity for trail operators to learn from the guardians of the land on Indigenous knowledge, nature education and preservation.
– Grow Indigenous tourism and help address the demand for the development and marketing of authentic Indigenous experiences.
– Enhance the capacity and knowledge of trail operators by developing and promoting various sections of the Trans Canada Trail as tourism products.
– Create educational materials to support Indigenous-owned community enterprises and trail operators for tourism development assistance and capacity building.
– Help put Canada’s trails on the itineraries of international and domestic guests for the benefit of hosting communities.

“As we continue to focus on our vision of creating a thriving Indigenous tourism economy sharing authentic, memorable and enriching experiences, we are so thrilled to establish this formal partnership with Trans Canada Trail. Through meaningful exchange, we will successfully advance the growth of Indigenous tourism in Canada with a goal of making Canada the world leader in Indigenous tourism by 2030,” said Henry.

McMahon said this is a significant moment for Trans Canada Trail.

“This collaboration is based on our mutual sustained commitment to supporting both trails tourism and Indigenous tourism through regenerative destination development programs. Trails continue to play a significant role in everyone’s lives and we celebrate this moment to create more inclusive experiences and opportunities to share and learn from one another,” she said.

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