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Leaders of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA, New Zealand Māori Tourism (NZMT), and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) announced on Monday development of a new organization called Destination Original International Tourism (DO-IT). The announcement came during the International Indigenous Tourism Conference being held in Ottawa, Canada.

Destination Original International Tourism (DO-IT) will be dedicated to the development and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism destinations globally once it has been created. The goal is to have the world’s Indigenous tourism industry working together to ensure a larger presence and a unified voice in promoting the industry.

This entails generating opportunities for joint initiatives and fostering innovative marketing partnerships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous entities, as well as working closely with governments and industry leaders globally. The organization aims to gain recognition and a seat-at-the-table with UN Tourism to ensure an Indigenous voice is included in their tourism marketing efforts.

“This signifies a monumental step towards amplifying Indigenous voices in the global tourism arena,” Sherry L. Rupert, CEO of AIANTA said. “Together, DO-IT will pave the way for the development and marketing of sustainable and authentic Indigenous tourism experiences. Not only it is our time to shine but this will offer consumers the perfect platform to learn of original experiences anywhere they travel in the world!”

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The vision for the organization is to establish an international tourism network of Indigenous tourism associations in each of our countries. DO-IT aims to lead initiatives like international research, perception studies, uncover trends that will support Indigenous tourism businesses, as well as ensure a much stronger presence and unified message with major global organizations and key industry conferences.

The announcement of the initiative set to revolutionize the global Indigenous tourism landscape, was shared during a panel at IITC, organized by ITAC, held February 26-28. Panelists Sherry Rupert, CEO of AIANTA, Pania Tyson-Nathan, Chief Executive of NZMT, and Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC, convened for a groundbreaking conversation on international brand alignment in Indigenous tourism. This pivotal discussion shared best practices, insights, and the importance of collaboration in propelling Indigenous-led tourism initiatives worldwide.

“Firmly fixed in our shared vision, we will safeguard the well-being of our Indigenous communities, cherish and preserve our cultural heritages, and honour and protect our wildlife and environment. As courageous and ambitious leaders in international Indigenous tourism, our dedication extends to the care and hospitality of our visitors, ensuring their experience is respectful. Through our endeavours, we will enrich cultural wealth in harmony with Earth Mother. We look forward in the implementation and full launch of this organization with our partners and start onboarding new Indigenous Destinations very soon – our possibilities are endless!” said Pania Tyson-Nathan, Chief Executive of NZMT.

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