Airport partners with Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 12:59 PDT, Fri September 4, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Vancouver International Airport is committed to help boost Indigenous tourism in Canada.

The airport (YVR) and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) will team up on marketing and other initiatives. YVR is the first airport in Canada to sign an agreement of this kind.

The partnership celebration was hosted by Teara Fraser, owner of Iskwew Air and an important figure in the Indigenous aviation community. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were over 300 Indigenous tourism businesses operating in BC and over 1,700 Indigenous tourism businesses across Canada. Indigenous tourism was outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall, and international demand for Indigenous experiences was at an all-time high.

“As we have learned working with Musqueam, whose traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory YVR is on, we play a valuable role connecting Indigenous People across Canada and around the world," said YVR CEO Tamara Vrooman. “We are honoured to be the first Canadian airport to sign a memorandum of understanding with ITAC and we look forward to combining our efforts through shared market intelligence and joint initiatives, all to support capacity-building and the future success of our Indigenous communities.”

The partnership will include knowledge sharing as well as marketing programs in countries of mutual interest. As a partner with YVR, ITAC will receive in-kind marketing support including at least two months of exposure each year including terminal banners, luggage carousel videos and outdoor advertising.

“As a significant gateway to important domestic and international markets, YVR’s marketing expertise and market intelligence are invaluable as we rebuild Indigenous tourism across Canada,” said ITAC CEO Keith Henry. “The exposure we will receive throughout the airport as well as YVR’s acknowledgement of the importance of Indigenous culture and collaborating on marketing initiatives globally will have a significant impact on our recovery strategy.”

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