iN VIDEO: Kelowna set to host 2019 International Indigenous Tourism Conference - InfoNews

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iN VIDEO: Kelowna set to host 2019 International Indigenous Tourism Conference

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
November 01, 2018 - 2:00 PM

KELOWNA - The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association, along with its core partners, were chosen to host the 8th annual International Indigenous Tourism Conference in Kelowna next year.

The International Indigenous Tourism Conference brings together delegates from the Canadian tourism industry, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities, as well as representatives from global Indigenous tourism organizations to discuss Indigenous tourism topics, barriers, opportunities and trends across Canada and the world. The conference was held in Saskatoon this week.

Yesterday's, Oct. 31, announcement of next year’s host destination in Kelowna celebrated by over 600 delegates.

“TOTA and ITBC have been pioneers in establishing and growing a thriving Indigenous tourism industry in Canada and I am very pleased to see the exceptional collaboration with regional Indigenous communities to ensure IITC is a success next year," Keith Henry, CEO & President of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, says in a media release. “Year over year we have grown this conference and I anticipate IITC 2019 will sell out quickly. Kelowna and the Thompson-Okanagan Region will be an equally popular destination.”

“Our province and region are so proud and honoured to be selected for such a prestigious and important conference,” Glenn Mandziuk, President and CEO of Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, says in the release. “Being able to submit a unified bid from our region’s Interior Salish nations, provincial partners, and Kelowna were keys to our collective success. It further showcases our commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism development through our international Biosphere Destination accreditation.”

During this week’s conference, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada announced the demand for Indigenous tourism experiences was at an all-time high, and that the association was already exceeding all economic forecast goals originally laid out for 2021. The new targets for 2024 is expected to see total Indigenous tourism revenues contributing $2.2 billion to the annual Canadian GDP, 49,383 total jobs in Indigenous tourism, and 200 export-ready indigenous tourism experiences across Canada.

“The commitment of the IITC host destination each year is critical to our ability to inspire and grow the industry in support of this demand. Each of the partners involved with next year’s conference will have their own story to tell and our delegates will only benefit from this level of sharing best practices,” says Henry.

The tourism association's core partners include: Indigenous Tourism of British Columbia, Tourism Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, Shackan Indian Band, and Lower Nicola Indian Band.

Go here for more information on the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Go here to download the full 2018/19 Guide to Indigenous Tourism in Canada.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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