Authenticity in Tourism2018-02-23T15:48:14+00:00

Authenticity in Tourism

Cultural Authenticity in Tourism

Authentic Indigenous cultural tourism is an industry sector that a growing number of tourists are interested in. It is important for the Indigenous communities within Ontario to take control of their culture and ensure it is properly represented. ITO will support and promote businesses offering culturally authentic experiences, and recognize them for contributing to their Indigenous heritage. In addition, ITO will recognize, support and promote businesses, communities, organizations, corporations, governments, and associations that support ITO’s mandate.

Culturally Authentic Experiences This is a tourism product, service, and/or experience that offers a visitor a cultural experience in a manner that is appropriate, respectful and true to the Indigenous culture being portrayed. It also provides the visitor to experience and share a moment with a local that is true to the local way of life.

National Cultural Authenticity Guidelines

ITO supports the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s (ITAC) National Cultural Authenticity Guidelines and will use them as the backbone of the CAP program. As stated in ITAC’s National Guidelines:

As culture truly belongs to the community and it’s people, it is important to ensure the culture is protected for future generations. All tourism products that share our culture should be developed and delivered in a way that supports the community it represents. With the diversity of Aboriginal cultures across Canada, it is impossible to determine what is “appropriate” to share, as something may be appropriate in one community and not be in another.

ITAC supports the authority of each community, to determine their own cultural protocols and boundaries and recognizes all of the diverse values and beliefs of our First Nations, Métis and Inuit members. This guide will help you to ensure that cultural protocols are followed so that everyone can be comfortable that the experience you offer is authentic and supported by the “keepers of the Culture…the nation and its people”.

Today Indigenous cultural tourism experiences must have a balance between offering an experience that has wide tourism appeal, while remaining true to the past and present culture of their community. There are FIVE key things to consider in developing a culturally authentic tourism experience. All of the following checklists within this section will help you to answer the following questions.

  1. Can I demonstrate the participation of and meaningful benefit to the Indigenous people and community?
  2. Is all of my Indigenous cultural content done in an appropriate, respectful manner that follows all local protocols?
  3. Does the Indigenous community being portrayed have control over the content of the cultural programming?
  4. Can I demonstrate a connection to the community portrayed that respects a responsibility to that community?
  5. Is the community involved in the delivery of the cultural programming to the visitor?

ITAC’s National Guidelines has recommended protocols for Cultural Authenticity and it is recommended for you to follow these guidelines when developing your Experience. ITO can provide assistance with ensuring that you meet the criteria.

ITAC’s National Guidelines has recommended protocols for Cultural Authenticity and it is recommended for you to follow these guidelines when developing your Experience. ITO can provide assistance with ensuring that you meet the criteria.

ITAC’s National Guidelines has recommended protocols for Cultural Authenticity and it is recommended for you to follow these guidelines when developing your Experience. ITO can provide assistance with ensuring that you meet the criteria.