WestJet and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) are providing nine, $10,000 grants to Indigenous tourism businesses across the country that have been affected by the shutdown of the tourism industry as a result of COVID-19.
The WestJet/ITAC national partnership is a three-year commitment that outlines how the airline will produce and offer opportunities for Indigenous tourism by showcasing Indigenous People’s culture and history while encouraging global and local audiences to take part in Indigenous tourism experiences.
As public health restrictions lift and people start to travel for leisure again, domestic trips may be some of the first ones Canadians take, and the airline and organization want to make sure Canadians – as well as inbound tourists – know about the opportunity to become immersed in Canadian indigenous culture.
“WestJet has been an amazing partner for ITAC and a true advocate for Indigenous tourism in Canada, championing and collaborating on marketing campaigns, which provide much needed support to Indigenous tourism businesses during this difficult time,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC in a press release.
“WestJet has effectively engaged with Indigenous tourism businesses and communities and fully understands the importance of reconciliation and the layered, but necessary, path to achieve it.”
Recipients of the 2020/2021 WestJet/ITAC grants:
- Feast Café Bistro: Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Moonstone Creation: Calgary, Alberta
- Talaysay Tours: Vancouver, British Columbia
- Moccasin Trails: Kamloops, British Columbia
- Indigenous World Winery: Kelowna, British Columbia
- North Star Adventures: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
- Aurora Village: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
- Indigenous Experiences: Gatineau, Quebec
- Miqmak Catering Indigenous Kitchen: Roxboro, Quebec
This summer, WestJet and ITAC are encouraging Canadians to support local tourism organizations, including local Indigenous tourism businesses from coast to coast to coast, while following all public health and safety guidelines.
“The situation facing the travel and tourism industry overall has been devastating,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice President. “We encourage Canadians to support Indigenous businesses in their communities and across the country when it is safe to do so.”
For information about indigenous experiences across the country: visit http://www.destinationindigenous.ca/