The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Destination Canada have announced a new partnership with Signature Travel Network — a member-owned travel cooperative that includes 277 member agencies with more than 600 retail locations around the world. Collectively, Signature members generate more than $11 billion in annual travel sales.
The new agreement marks the first global partnership between an Indigenous organization and Signature Travel Network.
Keith Henry, president and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, said that: “Moving Indigenous businesses into the international spotlight through the Signature Travel Network will help our industry grow.”
Henry continued: “We know visitors are increasingly interested in experiencing Indigenous tourism while in Canada and this new partnership will help connect travellers with high quality Indigenous businesses, restaurants and attractions.”
He explained that the partnership will also benefit Indigenous businesses by bringing tourism professionals out for a Signature Educational Journey, otherwise known as a FAM.
Said Henry: “We know that not everyone knows what to expect from an Indigenous tourism experience, but by hosting travel trade on a FAM, businesses will have the opportunity to share our lands, cultures and cuisines in an authentic way, so that agents can better understand and sell the experiences to their clients.”
Chris Alestra, Signature’s Vice President of Destination and Air Partnerships says Signature is delighted to collaborate with ITAC to expand the network’s awareness of Indigenous owned travel products.
Alestra said that: “Establishing this direct relationship with ITAC gives us the ability to delve deeper to provide meaningful enhancements to our packages in Canada that meet the goals of Indigenous communities.”
She goes on to explain that knowledge of ITAC’s guidelines for helping businesses become export-ready gives the network the confidence to include these Indigenous offerings in their training and marketing materials.
This new partnership will be announced at the National Signature Conference in Las Vegas from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11, 2022 and will reach 7000 travel advisors. ITAC will be recognized as a Signature Preferred Destination Association partner and will be the sponsor of the conference’s opening reception.