Indigenous Tourism Ontario Newsletter – June 10, 2020
SUMMER SOLSTICE INDIGENOUS FESTIVAL
Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival in Full Swing
Last week, Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival officially launched their virtual event! Highlighted below are some unique programs that have aired over the last 10 days. Each week features new culinary, craft, music, dance, cultural and educational content for the entire family to enjoy. As National Indigenous Peoples Day approaches, we invite you to continue virtually celebrating with us during the month of June. Click on the features to view upcoming events!
ITO LAUNCHES VIRTUAL REALITY PARTNERSHIP
ITO is proud to announce our partnership with Origin Recruitment (OR), an Indigenous firm with a proprietary virtual reality system.
In alignment with ITO’s goals, OR aims to highlight, capture and preserve valuable Indigenous knowledge and traditions. Through virtual journeys of unique Indigenous traditions and cultural practices such as land-based activities, culturally significant tourism, traditional dance, Indigenous art and related content, OR’s ImmersiveLink Cultural system promotes diversity and a deeper understanding of Indigenous world views.
Through this partnership, ITO and Origin will create Indigenous tourism experiences in VR to provide ITO’s members with unique opportunities to grow their business and increase exposure; as well as add to the ImmersiveLink Cultural Library.
More information coming soon.
TIAO RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE PROVINCE
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) Continues to Advocate for the Ontario Tourism Industry
On Thursday, June 4th, TIAO President and CEO Beth Potter presented 5 recommendations to the Provincial Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. The following recommendations outline key areas that must be targeted for both the short and long-term recovery and stimulus of the tourism industry.
We collectively recommend that our industry be provided the ability to re-open, so long as businesses can meet key health and safety guidelines outlined by the province.
Our sector needs clear and credible information about the re-opening process. Many tourism businesses have business models that include the sale of perishables. The ability to re-open is a huge risk to those that will spend money to deliver perishable goods.
Tourism businesses are in every region of Ontario, and many operate on Crown Land or Reserves. We have a responsibility to ensure that all support delivered to our industry reflects the geographically specific needs of all operations.
We need a strong and well executed plan from the provincial government to ensure that we have advanced testing and contact tracing in place in Ontario, that meets global standards. Without that, we will be unable to fully re-open our businesses to the global visitor economy
Many tourism workers, including newcomers, women, and youth, who have been laid off, are facing permanent dislocation from the workforce. We require a focus on engaging and supporting the most vulnerable laid off workers at every stage of recovery and reopening.
The Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab and Bruce County have announced a Special Edition of the “Spark” Program with up to $10K in grants available, plus mentorships for selected applicants. Learn more about this opportunity here.
ITAC LAUNCHES STRATEGIC RECOVERY PLAN
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) Launches Strategic Recovery Plan with Call for Needed Investment
ITAC has launched 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 launch of ITAC’s strategic recovery plan demonstrates the need for further investment. The three main priorities of ITAC’s strategic recovery plan are:
Ensuring the sustainability of ITAC member businesses across the country. This will be achieved through the creation of a stimulus investment fund for Indigenous tourism operators and an increased emphasis on education and training.
Ensuring the sustainability of the provincial and territorial Indigenous tourism associations. This will be achieved by supporting the ability of provincial and territorial Indigenous tourism associations to maintain their membership and infrastructure.
Ensuring the sustainability of ITAC’s national operations. This will be achieved with an emphasis on leadership and through a strengthening of relationships with our industry and government partners.