Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada
The Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC) focuses on creating partnerships between associations, organizations, government departments and industry leaders from across Canada to support the growth of Aboriginal tourism in Canada and address the demand for development and marketing of authentic Aboriginal experiences. ATAC has established a membership processes to enable Aboriginal tourism industry partners to engage and show support for Aboriginal tourism. Recent projects and initiatives, such as the development of National Guidelines for Aboriginal Cultural Experiences, can be viewed below.
ATAC’s annual International Aboriginal Tourism Conference (IATC) provided attendees with opportunities to find beneficial and collaborative partnerships, with the ultimate goal of building capacity across Canada, broadening global networks, and sharing best practices. Participants were offered workshops on Aboriginal tourism experience development, shared Aboriginal tourism industry research and marketing strategies, and presentations on key strategies to support growth.
ATAC plans to overcome barriers and maximize opportunities for differentiation, growth, and financial reward, increasing annual Canadian GDP from Aboriginal tourism by $300 million over the next five years. As outlined within ATAC’s strategic five-year plan (2016-2021), when ATAC reaches this goal by 2021, the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada will employ a total of 40,233 Aboriginal tourism workers and have 50 new Aboriginal tourism operators at export-ready status.
The Aboriginal Cultural Experiences – National Guidelines were created through national consultation with ATAC partners, industry, and support from the Federal Government through Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). The goal for ATAC was to create a user-friendly self assessment and reference tool that would be valuable for both the Aboriginal tourism industry and the Aboriginal economic development community across Canada in the creation and expansion of Aboriginal cultural tourism experiences.
National Aboriginal Tourism Research
The first major study of Aboriginal tourism in more than a decade points to the increasing importance, growth and sophistication of Aboriginal tourism across Canada. The research project, commissioned by ATAC, confirms that the economic impacts of Aboriginal tourism is growing, while surveys of 132 Aboriginal tourism business and 36 travel trade representatives also identified barriers that are limiting the ability of Aboriginal tourism to reach its potential.
Aboriginal Cruise Ship Opportunities
The Cruise Industry Opportunity project was initiated by ATAC and outlines opportunities for Aboriginal entrepreneurs, bands, and organizations wishing to benefit from the growing cruise industry. There are many regions across Canada with cruise ship participation including Arctic Canada, Atlantic Canada, Great Lakes, Newfoundland & Labrador, Pacific Coast & Alaska and Saint Lawrence Seaway. This educational website provides the insight and tools needed to better understand and work with the cruise industry.
The Power of Aboriginal Tourism
ATAC, in partnership with Destination Canada, launched the Power of Aboriginal Tourism campaign during the national Aboriginal showcase held during Rendez Vous Canada (RVC) in Montreal, Quebec, April 2016. The showcase was a major success and featured a collection of Aboriginal cultural tourism demonstrations featuring the Cree of Quebec, Inuit of Nunavik in Northern Quebec and the Wendake. The Wendake Lake clan has many stories to tell, since opening a museum, they host visitors from all over the world and are able to share those stories in the most honest and culturally accurate way possible. Watch the video below, to experience The Power of Aboriginal Tourism.