Over $1.3 million in federal funding will help Indigenous tourism organizations build resiliency, increase safety for visitors and develop new experiences to showcase Alberta as a premier Indigenous tourism destination
CALGARY, AB, March 9, 2022 /CNW/ – As Canadians start making new travel plans, the Government of Canada is investing in Alberta’s Indigenous tourism sector. These investments will build resiliency, and help businesses adapt and develop unique experiences that will attract domestic and international visitors to the province, positioning the growing sector for continued success in the long-term.
Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, announced a combined investment of over $1.3 million to strengthen the resiliency of the Indigenous tourism sector and continue to showcase Alberta as a premier tourism destination in Canada.
Funding by the Government of Canada is supporting the following organizations:
- A federal investment of $843,000 supports Indigenous Tourism Alberta’s five-year strategy and action plan to assist Alberta’s Indigenous tourism operators adapt to market changes. Key resiliency activities under this initiative include the development of a mentorship program, a resiliency partnership program and web development to showcase Indigenous tourism operators and experiences.
- Calgary’s TELUS Spark Centre is receiving $500,000 to develop and launch The Sacred Defenders of the Universe experience. This immersive digital experience will attract domestic and international visitors to the world-renowned science centre. The exhibit will share Indigenous knowledge and tradition to a growing audience using the Centre’s state-of-the-art Digital Immersion Gallery.
With these investments, Indigenous Tourism Alberta expects to help create, maintain, or expand 45 Indigenous businesses and 100 jobs, while TELUS Spark Centre expects its project to attract over 19,000 visitors by 2023.
“By supporting Alberta’s hard-hit tourism sector, our government is helping tourism operators adapt and enhance experiences to accommodate an expected wave of domestic and international visitors that are eager to experience all that Canada and Alberta have to offer. These Investments in Alberta’s Indigenous tourism sector will strengthen resiliency among Indigenous tourism operators and advance reconciliation as they proudly share traditional Indigenous knowledge and culture with visitors from across Canada and aground the globe.”
– The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
“Alberta is home to outstanding natural beauty, cultural experiences and urban activities that position it to be a leading global travel destination. Indigenous tourism is an important part of that mix. Our investment is ensuring that Alberta-based tourism operators and organizations have the support they need to contribute to Canada’s reputation as a welcoming global tourism destination.”
– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
“I am proud of our government’s commitment to the tourism sector in Alberta. In particular, our investments in support of Alberta’s fast-growing Indigenous tourism sector are helping showcase Alberta as a leading Indigenous tourism destination in Canada.”
– George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview.
“COVID-19 hit Indigenous tourism operators particularly hard, but ITA was able to support Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities through the pandemic and position them to thrive as travellers return thanks to the support of the Government of Canada. From website modernizations to executive mentorships to tourism readiness programs and cultural awareness sessions for tourism-industry partners, ITA programs not only helped entrepreneurs navigate tough times, but also align with long-term strategies for growth. ITA looks forward to continuing our work with the Government of Canada to support the diverse and impactful Indigenous visitor economy in what we now know as Alberta.”
– Shae Bird, CEO, Indigenous Tourism Alberta
“Tourists will be enthralled by the powerful storytelling in this new digital immersion experience at Spark, as they explore culturally, learn and grow. The project is led by Indigenous artists and will engage broad audiences in Indigenous ways of knowing. And the story is spectacular! We are grateful for the financial support to bring together a team with such talent, creativity and perspective.”
– Mary Anne Moser, President and CEO, TELUS Spark Science Centre
- The Government of Canada is investing $1.3 million to strengthen the resiliency of the Indigenous tourism sector and showcase Alberta as a premier Indigenous tourism destination in Canada.
- Indigenous tourism in Alberta provides jobs and supports entrepreneurs, businesses, and communities.
- Pre-COVID, Indigenous tourism was one of Canada’s and Alberta’s largest and fastest-growing tourism niche sectors worth an estimated $166.2 million.
- Prairies Economic Development Canada
- Indigenous Tourism Alberta
- Tourism Relief Fund
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
SOURCE Prairies Economic Development Canada