Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 26, 2017 – Travel Manitoba and the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to grow the Indigenous tourism sector in the province.
In the presence of Indigenous advocates and business people at Travel Manitoba’s Visitor Information Centre at The Forks, ATAC Board Chair Robert Bernard and Travel Manitoba Board Chair Stuart Murray signed the MOU which lays out objectives for the next three years, including:
- To build leadership capacity within the Indigenous tourism industry
- To support the development of existing and new Indigenous tourism experiences
- To lead marketing excellence and foster a culture of pride amongst Manitobans in regard to Indigenous tourism experiences in Manitoba.
“Manitoba is a province rich in culture and history with Indigenous tourism experiences that capture the hearts of visitors from within Canada and around the world,” said Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen. “Indigenous peoples and culture are an intrinsic part of our province and the Manitoba government is pleased to support our diverse tourism industry in helping to promote the many unique attractions and destinations we have to offer.”
Manitoba is the home of 63 Indigenous communities and the birthplace of the Metis Nation of Canada. The province has more than 195,000 Indigenous, Metis and Inuit people, or 16.7% of the total population.
Robert Bernard, Chair of ATAC, said Manitoba is an important piece of the organization’s mission to unite the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada. “Our work at ATAC is to develop relationships with other groups in order to support, promote and market authentic Indigenous cultural tourism businesses in a respectful protocol. Manitoba is an integral part of a thriving Indigenous tourism economy, and we are so pleased to have this partnership in place.”
Travel Manitoba and the province of Manitoba will consider several of the Calls to Action contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report in advancing an Indigenous tourism growth strategy. “An Indigenous narrative is an integral part of telling the history of Manitoba and recognizing today’s modern, thriving communities”, said Stuart Murray, Board Chair of Travel Manitoba. “As the tourism marketing agency for the province of Manitoba, Travel Manitoba will be one of the leaders in telling the Indigenous story of Manitoba to the world.”
For more information, contact:
Colin Ferguson, President and CEO
Keith Henry, President and CEO
Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada
Travel Manitoba is a Crown Corporation under provincial legislation that leads and stimulates sustainable tourism growth in Manitoba’s $1.5 billion tourism industry. In partnership with the tourism industry, the agency is responsible for tourism marketing, visitor information services, research and public information.