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Indigenous tourism industry supported by Canadian government

Indigenous tourism is a key economic driver in generating long-term social and economic benefits for Indigenous people and for all Canadians.

Indigenous tourism is a key economic driver in generating long-term social and economic benefits for Indigenous people and for all Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, announced an investment of $3.15 million for the implementation of a five-year national strategy, the Path Forward 2016 2021. This includes a contribution from Innovation Science and Economic Development.

The implementation of this strategy over the next few years in order towill support and promote both new and existing Indigenous tourism businesses, enhance product and market readiness, increase the visibility of the Indigenous tourism industry, and facilitate the sharing of best practices within and between regions.

This investment will ensure that Indigenous communities can continue to grow the tourism industry, which is shared and celebrated worldwide, differentiating Canada as a unique tourism destination while respecting and strengthening Indigenous traditions and cultures.

Canada is proud to be a partner in helping building a successful, sustainable and culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry across our country—an industry that is dynamic and prosperous while remaining deeply respectful of Indigenous traditions and values.


“From the Haida Nation, to Wendake, to Waycobah First Nations, Indigenous communities are growing dynamic tourism initiatives and welcoming Canadian and international tourists alike to their traditional territories. In addition to local and regional economic benefits, tourism can also serve as a vehicle promote and share cultural identities, stories, and traditions and help to advance reconciliation with non-indigenous visitors.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

“Canada’s Indigenous cultures and communities are among this country’s most unique tourism offerings. The five-year national strategy will help grow Canada’s tourism industry and Indigenous-owned businesses, as well as improve our competitiveness as a world-class international tourism destination.”

The Honourable Bardish Chagger
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

“I want to thank the Government of Canada and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s support to invest in our industry. Aboriginal tourism continues to grow with greater demand each year and this new investment will support our national strategy entitled The Path Forward 2016-2021. ATAC will be empowered to enhance and support new Aboriginal tourism experiences for future international and domestic visitors. This is an exciting time as we continue to share the Aboriginal culture histories from throughout this beautiful country. Aboriginal tourism is poised to grow, creating new jobs and economic development for Aboriginal people throughout Canada.”

Keith Henry
President and CEO, Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada

Quick Facts

• Indigenous tourism accounts for $2.65 billion in gross economic output, $1.4 billion in national gross domestic product and more than $142 million in taxes to municipal, provincial and federal governments.

• The number of Indigenous tourism businesses has also grown from 892 businesses in 2002 to well over 1,500 in 2014.

• Direct employment of the Indigenous tourism sector has also increased, from 12,566 people employed in 2002 to an estimated 32,100 people in 2014.