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Destinations International Forms Partnership With Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Don Welsh, Destinations International and Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

In alignment with its commitment to Indigenous tourism, Destinations International (DI) announced a new partnership with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).

The alliance aims to deepen the understanding and appreciation of Indigenous tourism through education, fostering authentic engagement and promoting Canada’s The Original Original mark of excellence, which directly supports Indigenous-owned businesses. 

Both DI and ITAC believe the collaboration is another step toward empowering destinations to engage authentically with Indigenous tourism business owners, benefiting both visitors and Indigenous communities.

“Through education and raising awareness of The Original Original mark of excellence, we empower destinations to authentically engage with Indigenous tourism business owners, thereby enriching the travel experience for visitors while promoting economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples,” said Keith Henry, president and CEO of ITAC, in a press release announcing the partnership. “Further, Destinations International’s strategic priorities for destination organizations in 2024 align with ITAC’s vision to help make Canada become the global leader in Indigenous tourism by 2030."

[Related: Destinations International Shifts From EDI to Social Inclusion Initiatives and Names Chief Inclusion Officer]

DI’s successful 2024 International Indigenous Tourism Conference is one example of the association’s ongoing initiatives to promote genuine appreciation over appropriation and to amplify Indigenous voices in tourism. 

"This partnership signifies a milestone in our journey toward fostering a more inclusive and diverse tourism industry,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of DI. “By prioritizing Indigenous-led storytelling and education on The Original Original mark, we underscore our commitment to responsible and respectful destination management."

The collaboration between DI and ITAC will also feature a joint research project with destination organizations to explore best practices in Indigenous tourism.

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