ITO is the voice for Indigenous tourism in Ontario. Our valued strategic and community partners help us market the Indigenous tourism industry throughout Canada and beyond. Marketing materials in print and online, partnership opportunities with IEO , ITAC, and OTMPC and access to travel trade and media, are some of ITO’s marketing programs that can help your Indigenous tourism business tap into new markets and expand your reach. Below you will find additional information about ITO’s current marketing initiatives:
ITO Online Marketing Initiatives
ITO unites Indigenous tourism operators from all corners of the province who support the development of authentic cultural tourism. We represent individuals, communities and organizations that provide meaningful and memorable experiences to visitors who travel to Ontario from far and wide.
Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) has partnered with Indigenous Experience Ontario (IEO) to populate a newly developed consumer facing website that will serve as an Indigenous tourism marketing hub. IndigenousExperienceOntario.ca intends to showcase authentic Indigenous experiences by providing an inventory of recognized Indigenous tourism operators across the province. Both ITO and IEO will be sharing their knowledge and expertise of the Indigenous tourism industry to benefit and support ITO members, as well as to serve unprecedented traveler demands for authentic Indigenous tourism experiences. Together, ITO and IEO will build awareness and connect eager visitors to the unique Indigenous tourism experiences in Ontario.
Becoming a voting member of ITO means that your business will have the option to be promoted on IndigenousExperienceOntario.ca, a traveler’s first stop when looking for authentic Indigenous tourism in Ontario. You will also be featured in print material such as the Guide to Indigenous Tourism in Ontario and regional publications (phase 2)
ITO’s itineraries (phase 2) highlight a variety of regions throughout Ontario where travelers can experience Indigenous culture at its best. These itineraries follow many of the popular travel routes throughout the province and add valuable cultural experiences to any trip. Having your Indigenous tourism business featured on one of ITO’s itineraries would entice many potential customers and promote your region as an Indigenous tourism destination.
Ontario Authentic Indigenous Moments (OAIM)
Ontario Authentic Indigenous Moments are cultural experiences that tourists can share with a local, someone who knows and lives the traditions that have been passed down for generations. The Ontario Authentic Indigenous Moments (OAIM) program links ‘authentic cultural entrepreneurs’ with tourists who are seeking a unique experience. Visit the OAIM website to learn more: http://ontarioindigenousmoments.ca/how-it-works/
This innovative program promotes local Indigenous entrepreneurs and organizations and highlights a huge variety of cultural experiences throughout Ontario. The OAIM program offers many benefits to those who join including marketing and product development support as well as recognition from ITO as an authentic cultural experience.
When your Moment is uploaded on to the OAIM site you can sit back and enjoy the ride since all of your marketing services will be free! Each Moment will be search engine optimized to ensure that it is searchable on the Internet and the word gets out about your experience or offering. In addition, ITO will also rotate weekly features for each of the Moments and share them on social media sites.
OAIM will also be largely promoted through a variety of tourism distribution on channels, tourism associations, at travel trade shows, various travel publications, and travel industry partners. This will bring more awareness to you and your Moment(s).
Since this project is based on consumer ratings, ITO will select a monthly feature on one of OAIM’s Cultural Entrepreneurs and write a Success Story about them. This will give you a chance to have a monthly feature on the site! Become an OAIM ‘cultural entrepreneur’ today!
Cultural Authenticity Program
The Cultural Authenticity (CAP) program is designed to acknowledge tourism champions are striving to preserve and share our province’s diverse Indigenous cultures with visitors from around the world. 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. To join or find out more about the CAP program, click here: CAP Program
Marketing & Product Development Support
ITO also focuses heavily on capacity building and ensuring that its members are involved in product development and marketing training as needed. The Indigenous tourism industry in Canada is just beginning to gain traction and staying current with trends within the marketplace is crucial to the success of any business. ITO assists its members with topics such as: knowing your target markets, market intelligence and online and social media marketing.
Support services from ITO also focus on training programs and certifications, which are designed to do the following:
- Create standardized and consistent service levels
- Increase the local human resource capacity
- Ensure employment opportunities are available to locals
- Contract professional where appropriate
ITO will be available to assist with marketing and product development support when necessary. We are here to assist our industry and its members. Setting you up for success is our priority!