Canadians Encouraged to Explore Indigenous Tourism Experiences

July 22, 2020 Jim Byers

Canadians are being invited to “Escape From Home” this summer with Indigenous experiences from coast to coast to coast.

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), an excellent group that promotes indigenous travel and tourism across the country, invites Canadians to plan the perfect escape this summer in their own backyards with the launch of Destination Indigenous’ Escape from Home campaign, a series of inspired itineraries highlighting a range of authentic experiences that connect travellers to Indigenous people, their culture and the land.

“Through strong imagery, video, and storytellers, Destination Indigenous is putting a focus on this resilient sector of the tourism industry, while delivering an emotional experience that flows from our grounding with the natural environment and our desire for meaningful connections,” says Keith Henry, President & CEO of ITAC. “Our Indigenous experiences, activities and communities have enjoyed growing demand from international visitors year-over-year for sharing rich, transformative travel experiences that showcase a modern, authentic culture. We invite all Canadians to discover the rich Indigenous history within their own communities, provinces and territories.”

I had a chance to meet with Henry at a Destination Canada event last summer and found him an engaging, enthusiastic and knowledgeable fellow. Certainly the cause is very much worth supporting.

ITAC announced the launch of Destination Indigenous in Juneto encourage, highlight and educate travellers about the many Indigenous experiences that will welcome Canadians this summer. Through Destination Indigenous’ informative website and vacation planning tool (which includes maps and directions), intrepid travellers can explore and book:

  • wildlife and fishing excursions across Quebec;
  • urban Indigenous tours within Canada’s major cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa & Halifax;
  • guided adventures across BC & Alberta;
  • northern Lights in NWT;
  • unique Indigenous accommodations from art-filled hotels to glamping in the wilderness;
  • deep dives into Indigenous culture and heritage sites;
  • foraging for local ingredients and dining on Indigenous cuisine from top-trained Indigenous chefs. 

I had a terrific tour of Stanley Park in Vancouver with a guide from Talaysay Tours last fall, where he explained how Indigenous Canadians foraged for food and how they lived and supported themselves in what is now a glorious urban park.

A tour of Stanley Park with Talaysay Tours. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Escape from Home will also be promoted via a robust digital campaign and feature storytellers who will travel across the country providing first-person accounts of their Indigenous journeys. 

“Our Indigenous tourism members are excited to welcome Canadians and proud of the travel experiences they have been offering for many years. ITAC has worked hard to ensure they have the resources to operate with the highest health and safety standards possible, and we are honoured to share our culture during a time when sharing and supporting our local communities is so important,” says Henry.

While planning an escape with Indigenous experiences across Canada, ITAC recommends travellers understand the health and safety guidelines for travel within each province and territory, and travellers also check to ensure that the community they hope to visit is ready to welcome back local visitors.

The Escape from Home campaign will be rolled out over the next several weeks with different locations and types of experiences highlighted each week. For the launch, Destination Indigenous is providing a portal into Quebec’s awe-inspiring Indigenous wilderness experiences.

Try an Indigenous Tourism whale-watching trip in the St. Lawrence River. PHOTO COURTESY DESTINATION CANADA

View and download the campaign poster here:

View an inspiring itinerary here:

More details:

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