Cultural Best Practices

Best Practices in Indigenous Tourism

The purpose of recognizing best practices within Indigenous tourism is to establish a baseline for operations and to learn from the successes of our friends and partners in the industry. Below are some examples of cultural best practices that can serve as case studies for individuals, businesses and organizations that are developing authentic Indigenous tourism in their communities.

Great Spirit Circle Trail, Manitoulin Island

The Great Spirit Circle Trail Inc. referred as GSCT, offers tours that provide authentic Indigenous experiences to visitors. Setting the standard for Indigenous tourism, the GSCT is one of the first Indigenous Tourism Organizations established in Ontario. It has laid the groundwork for other Indigenous tourism operators hoping to preserve and promote the rich culture of Indigenous peoples while growing the local economy. The GSCT bases its operations around offering Indigenous tourism products that are true to the culture of the Anishnawbek peoples. This is a win-win, because the traditional culture is not compromised for mere commodification and the tourist has the opportunity to engage in an authentic and unique experience.

Authenticity is an integral component of the GSCT’s innovative product offering. Tourists who partake in a GSCT tour experience quality interpretation with Anishnaabe guides, and are treated to stories, traditions, and teachings that have permeated the region for centuries. A focus is placed on experiential learning, or learning by doing, which results in a more profound connection between the tourist and the experience. A reoccurring theme amongst tourists who have participated in a GSCT tour is a greater sense of understanding of Indigenous cultures and nature-based knowledge.

Tourism Wendake, Québec

Located within the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat nation, Wendake is a culturally rich Indigenous tourism destination. The community has developed a variety of products that promote cultural and experiential learning while providing high quality facilities found in world-renowned tourist destinations.

Some of the attractions include: the Huron-Wendat Museum, cultural workshops, nature interpretation centre, cultural performances, restaurant, First Nations hotel and traditional village. Tourism Wendake has been nationally recognized for its efforts in providing authentic Indigenous experiences by immersing guests in nature and Huron-Wendat culture.

The variety and range of experiences is what sets Wendake apart as an Indigenous tourist destination. The community has been the driving force behind Tourism Wendake’s vision to share fascinating cultural traditions and artifacts with visitors.