COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) –  June 23, 2020 –  The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is pleased to receive $1.95 million for their sales and marketing recovery budget, thanks to an enduring partnership with Destination Canada.  

Since 2015, Destination Canada and ITAC have exchanged knowledge, expertise and market intelligence; facilitated, educated and consulted together on product readiness.  Destination Canada has also assisted ITAC in connecting travel trade to export-ready products through available programs while cooperating in marketing programs in countries of mutual interest.

“Canada’s tourism sector has been hit hard by COVID-19, and Indigenous tourism has been particularly affected,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “Indigenous tourism operators welcome visitors to the lands they’ve called home for millennia, and it’s not hard to see why this was the fastest-growing part of our tourism industry before the crisis. This investment will help Indigenous tourism come back strong, supporting good jobs and playing a key role in our economic recovery.”

“This additional funding is critical for ITAC to support the recovery of the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada,” says ITAC’s President and CEO, Keith Henry. “These funds will not only support a national awareness campaign, they will also be distributed to our provincial and territorial Indigenous members to support their own local and regional marketing efforts.” 

This additional funding comes in time to support and enhance ITAC’s Destination Indigenous marketing campaign.  Destination Indigenous includes the release of a new experience booking web platform that will link travellers with export-ready Indigenous tourism businesses who are welcoming visitors this summer; a series of Zoom backgrounds showcasing Indigenous-experience imagery from each province and territory; and a video campaign called Virtually Yours to entice Canadian travellers.

Helping Indigenous tourism recover and become more resilient heading into summer is critical. Prior to 2020, Indigenous Tourism across Canada:

  • was outpacing all other tourism sectors in Canada for growth; 
  • was one of the largest single employers and economic drivers of Indigenous communities;  
  • contributed more than $1.6B annually to Canada’s direct GDP (in 2019; up from $1.4B in 2015)

Without significant financial and marketing support, Indigenous tourism operators are forecasted to go out of business before the end of the (non-existent) summer season with potential losses of $1.4B in GDP Contribution and more than 20,000 job losses.

“Indigenous visitor experiences are very important to our national tourism brand,” says David Robinson, Interim President and CEO, Destination Canada. “We value our partnership and the expertise ITAC brings to product development and marketing. Providing this needed support not only helps our sector but is also key to the recovery of local economies across the country including in many rural communities.”

ITAC thanks Destination Canada, the Honourable Minister Joly, the Honourable Minister Bennett and the Honourable Minister Miller, and their teams for continuing to listen and respond to the unique needs of the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada.

“More than ever, the tourism industry needs to work collaboratively and support each other, while reminding Canadians of the amazing cultural experiences available in their own backyards,” says Henry.


COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) –  June 18, 2020 – Conference Board of Canada research conducted in partnership with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), shows that, compared to 2019, Canada’s Indigenous tourism sector will experience a 65.9 percent decline in direct GDP (down to $555 million) and a 59.4 percent decline in employment (down to 14,624 jobs) in 2020, due to COVID-19 and the global tourism industry grinding to a halt. These findings reflect the perspectives and business realities of Indigenous tourism operators who participated in a recent wide-scale survey of the sector. 

This is in stark contrast to 2019 when over 36,000 people worked in the Indigenous tourism sector, and its direct economic contribution exceeded $1.6 billion in GDP.  The Conference Board of Canada research estimates that around 714 Indigenous businesses could be at risk of closure in 2020-2021.  

“Since COVID-19 first hit the tourism industry across Canada, we had no doubt the negative impacts would be devastating to our Indigenous tourism operators, as it has been for all tourism operators across Canada,” says Keith Henry, ITAC’s President and CEO.  “While working with the Federal Government on Indigenous-led financial solutions, we knew it was important to invest in research even if it proves our greatest fears.”

Earlier this month, ITAC also released a four-year, $50 million Strategic Recovery Plan with the goal to respond, recover and rebuild the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada to levels experienced in 2019 by 2024.  The Indigenous tourism sector in Canada comprises at least 1,699 businesses and up until 2020, was showing a robust and positive growth trajectory, outpacing the overall Canadian tourism sector.

“We are pleased that over 500 Indigenous operators responded to the Conference Board of Canada’s bilingual survey.  The biggest concerns by members are on how long disruptions from COVID-19 will last and the enormous loss of revenues as a result,” says Henry.  “Our focus continues to be on Indigenous-led solutions to mitigate business closures so that the tourism industry across Canada continues to have a diverse range of authentic, high-quality Indigenous tourism experiences which we know from past research is in high demand globally.”

“What our research suggests is that adaptability and a phased approach will be needed to accommodate the different needs, time horizons and safety requirements of the diversity of Indigenous experience providers across Canada,” says Adam Fiser, Associate Director with The Conference Board. “Listening to communities, and working with their members and businesses will be fundamental to recovery and renewal.”    

The Conference Board of Canada’s research can be viewed here.


Seattle, June 16, 2020React Mobile, the most trusted provider of panic button solutions to hotels, has recently updated its Dispatch Center to give response teams real-time access to emergency alerts via any browser. The new customer portal provides remote access and complete administrative control of the cloud-based safety platform from anywhere.

“Having mobile access to emergency alerts is critical in these uncertain times,” said Robb Monkman, React Mobile CEO. “Whether an employee needs immediate assistance with a hotel guest in medical distress or a worker finds himself or herself in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation, this mobile feature will dispatch help to any device — a smartphone, tablet, Mac or PC — within seconds of being received, no matter where responders are on property. This is just one of the many ways that React Mobile is improving the safety of hotel workers everywhere.”

The React Mobile Dispatch Center is used to:

  • Configure a hotel’s response team and notification lists
  • Actively monitor beacons and buttons for connectivity and battery life
  • Issue alerts and update responders in real time
  • Track and log all alert history

The Dispatch Center dashboard displays a map of the property. If a panic button is engaged, the dashboard will display the indoor location of the panic button via Bluetooth® beacons or the outdoor location of the panic button using the built-in GPS on cellular and smartphone devices. As the administrative safety hub, this dashboard also provides access to alert histories and provides a listing of all devices, dispatchers, enterprise properties, beacons, LTE devices and more.

“We are very excited about the launch of this new Dispatch Center,” said Tyson Paxton, React Mobile Client Success Manager. “This platform is the single source of truth for emergency alerts and safety monitoring on property. When hotels reopen and employees return to work, it won’t be business as usual. Until operators can rebuild their workforces to pre-pandemic levels, they will be transitioning with lighter teams. By placing real-time alert functionality in the cloud, responders can act more quickly and confidently, knowing they have the full power of the Dispatch Center in the palms of their hands.”

The new Dispatch Center went live in May and is already in use by new customers. Existing React Mobile users can log in to new Dispatch Center by clicking here.


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