Published September 8, 2017
WASHINGTON– On Thursday, the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), with the purpose of establishing a framework for cooperation between the two associations – and Canada and the United States.
The MOU intends to further enhance collaboration opportunities between AIANTA and ATAC; enrich understanding, education and cultural exchange among the members; offer business development and cultural education opportunities for the members; and support the long-term economic viability of tribal communities and each tribal member through collaboration efforts. Jointly, it will increase tourism Native American and Aboriginal Canadian tourism.
ATAC provides leadership in the development and marketing of authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences through innovative partnerships. ATAC designed a national strategy entitled, “The Path Forward; 2016-2021.” This five-year strategic plan outlines the national strategy to grow the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada in revenues, jobs, and Aboriginal owned successful businesses.
ATAC conducted extensive research to measure the economic impact of Aboriginal tourism in Canada. This research shows that the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada employs more than 33,000 people and produces $1.4 billion of Canada’s annual GDP. This research also identified a list of barriers or challenges that hinder the growth and sustainability of Canada’s Aboriginal tourism industry.
ATAC is supporting the tourism marketplace to meet the visitor demands for authentic, meaningful experiences while travelling in Canada. The ATAC five-year plan is designed to respond to growing visitor demands through development and marketing of authentic Aboriginal experiences that are market/export-ready delivering a meaningful and memorable experience to travelers to Canada.
Camille L. Ferguson leads American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association
AIANTA is a national non-profit association whose mission is to define, introduce, grow, and sustain American Indian and Alaska Native tourism that honors traditions and values. As the only organization specifically dedicated to advancing Indian Country tourism across the United States, AIANTA serves as the voice and resource for tribes and tribal organizations engaged in cultural tourism.
“This is an exceptional advancement for tribes throughout both the United States and Canada,” says Camille Ferguson, AIANTA Executive Director. “Both AIANTA and ATAC work to protect and sustain native cultures, economies, and communities through tourism. This new partnership economically benefits both organizations and countries through coordination and cooperation in the development, conservation, management, and promotion of tribal and aboriginal tourism.”
AIANTA works with other tribal and non-tribal national organizations, universities, regional tribal tourism organizations, national and international tourism organizations, law firms and Federal agencies to provide tribal tourism education, training, technical assistance and related resources to Indian Country and to market the benefits of Indian Country visitation internationally and domestically.