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Ottawa wants to support Indigenous tourism across the country

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Ottawa wants to restore momentum to the tourism industry and influence the evolution of the industry.

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Small Indigenous tourism businesses will be able to apply for financial assistance of up to $25,000 with the aim of supporting Indigenous communities and restoring momentum to the national tourism industry.

Funding is part of the Indigenous Tourism Fund. It will have a budget of $10 million.

Federal Tourism Minister Soraya Martinez Ferrada and President and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada Keith Henry made the announcement Friday at the Bill Reid Museum in Vancouver.

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Soraya Martinez-Ferrada, Minister of Tourism, believes indigenous tourism has the power to advance the economy of reconciliation

Indigenous tourism is powerful.

A quote from Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism

For Minister Ferrada, indigenous tourism is a key area of ​​development: It has the power to create jobs and opportunities. It has the power to transform the tourism sector and even more, it has the power to advance self-determination and the economy of reconciliation.

Tourism is important to Canada. Reviving the Canadian economy is important and reviving the Indigenous economy is important and that is what this announcement accomplishes, adds Keith Henry.

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Keith Henry, president and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, aims to promote the 1,900 Indigenous businesses in the country.

Our goal is to help at least 300 companies across the country have access to this fund, says Henry. This funding is crucial and will allow companies to improve their efficiency at all levels.

Even if the figures for tourist visits are approaching the pre-pandemic threshold, Minister Ferrada wants to regain the tourist enthusiasm which is slow to manifest again.

Already, before the pandemic, there was a momentum for tourism economic development in the country and it is this momentum that we must regain. It is through indigenous tourism, among others, that we will achieve this, she indicates.

According to Minister Ferrada, the post-pandemic tourist profile is different: [Tourists] want to live experiences that are different, but which are authentic, which provide a human experience.

The Minister and Keith Henry both agree that Indigenous communities can offer these services and take a active part of this new tourist economy.

Once they set foot in the business, we can immerse them in the local culture, we must just help them find the path that leads them to us and that's why this investment is so important, concludes Mr. Henry.

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