Join ITO’s Indigenous Business Advisory Program

ITO’s new IBA Program aims to deliver one-on-one business support services to 100 eligible ITO members.

Building on last year’s Business Support Broker Program and in keeping with our Guiding Principle of using an innovative grassroots approach, ITO has again commissioned a network of experts – Indigenous Business Advisors (IBAs) – to work directly with our members to provide resources, coaching, mentorship, and support. Tailored to each business’ identified needs, IBAs will serve as a single point of contact to help tourism operators access and navigate financial resources, business planning tools, training and skills programs, marketing opportunities and more. During the initial four-month IBA Program period, participating businesses can expect:

  • A dedicated ITO Business Advisor 
  • One-on-one coaching and mentorship 
  • A direct connection to current industry information including COVID-19 relief funding opportunities to meet your immediate business needs
  • Access to a comprehensive and up-to-date library of business resources 
  • Assistance locating, navigating, and understanding various resources and funding streams
  • Access to training for operators and their employees
  • Support in utilizing business planning tools and application writing 
  • Access to ITO and partner marketing initiatives 
  • A customized summary of recommendations and action plans developed collaboratively through the program
We invite our members to fill out the 5 minute online application to join the IBA Program and access these services free of charge.
Canada’s Visitor Economy One Year into the Global Pandemic
One year into the global pandemic Destination Canada research reveals the impact of COVID-19 on Canada’s Visitor Economy and the role Canadians can play. While recovery is forecasted to take years, Canadians can play a crucial role in the recovery of the tourism economy by keeping their tourism dollars in Canada.

Key takeaways:
  • Canadians want to travel: while safety is a key consideration in planning travel, data shows high interest in future international travel.
  • If Canadians shift two-thirds of their planned spend on international leisure travel towards domestic tourism, it will make up for the estimated $19 billion shortfall currently facing our visitor economy—and help sustain 150,000 jobs.
  • Recovery is forecasted to take years, but a significant increase in domestic travel can accelerate recovery by one year.
  • The visitor economy saw unprecedented losses in 2020 alongside business closures and rising unemployment. The impact on tourism is greater than that experienced after 9/11, SARS and the 2008 economic crisis combined.
  • Because of its service nature, tourism is the most impacted sector in the Canadian economy. Canada’s major cities have been hit the hardest by the loss of tourism revenue.
  • While still significant, job loss was minimized through Government of Canada initiatives which include, among others, the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP).
  • Women, immigrants and youth, who make up the engine of the visitor economy, have been hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19 due to reduced operations, business closures and job loss
It is clear the tourism industry has the steepest hill to climb. When it is safe to do so, ITO will continue our work in the industry, promoting domestic travel to support Indigenous operators, communities and the industry as a whole.


ITO 2021 Membership Program
Join Us! ITO welcomes any person or organization that has an interest in advancing Indigenous tourism in Ontario to become a member. Learn about membership benefits in our 2021 Membership Program and register by March 31, 2021 for free membership. Existing members will be auto renewed. Register now.
Safe Travels Stamp
The world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp is used in over 100 destinations worldwide including regions in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. In Canada, TIAO has been chosen by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to administer the Safe Travels Stamp. As travel slowly returns, we want you to be ready to operate and welcome guests when it is appropriate. To learn more about how you can provide travellers with the confidence that your business has the necessary measures in place for a safe visit, watch the full recording of the Safe Travels Stamp Webinar hosted by ITO and TIAO.
CCAB Webinar: Progressive Aboriginal Relations
Is your company looking to partner with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities?

Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Time: 12:00-1:00pm EST

Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) is an online management and reporting program that supports progressive improvement in Aboriginal relations, and a certification program that confirms corporate performance in Aboriginal relations. The PAR logo signals good business partners; great places to work, and companies that are committed to prosperity in Aboriginal communities. In 2016, the PAR framework was modified to a phased approach to create increased access for program participation and help companies achieve sustained and successful outcomes. The session on March 17th will discuss the PAR Program’s new criteria, for the Committed and Certified levels. For more information or to register, please contact Eric Peterson – Program Coordinator, PAR Program epeterson@ccab.com.


Remaining Public Health Units Rejoining the Reopening Ontario Framework
As of Monday March 8th, North Bay-Parry Sound, Peel and Toronto have rejoined the framework. In addition to this, the following health units will be moving into a new colour zone:

Grey – Lockdown

Toronto Public Health
Peel Public Health
Red – Control
North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
Peterborough Public Health
Public Health Sudbury and District
Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
Orange – Restrict
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Timiskaming Health Unit
Yellow – Protect
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
Renfrew County and District Health Unit.

View the official regulations for the Green, Yellow and Orange Zones, here.
View the official regulations for Red Zones, here.
View the official regulations for Grey (Lockdown) Zones, 
View an overview of the restrictions associated with each zone, here.

      Indigenous Tourism Ontario
      1300 Hwy 540
      4 directions Complex Unit 4
      Aundeck Omni Kaning, Ontario

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