ITAC part of new Destination Original International Tourism organization

As part of the International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC), leaders from New Zealand Māori Tourism (NZMT), the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) have announced the brand and visual identity of a new organization in the works called Destination Original International Tourism (DO-IT).

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The new organization will be dedicated to the development and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism destinations globally once it has been created. The goal is to have the world’s Indigenous tourism industry working together to ensure a larger presence and a unified voice in promoting the industry.

This entails generating opportunities for joint initiatives and fostering innovative marketing partnerships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous entities, as well as working closely with governments and industry leaders globally. The organization aims to gain recognition and a seat at the table with UN Tourism to ensure an Indigenous voice is included in their tourism marketing efforts.

“It’s so important to have an Indigenous-led organization like DO-IT lead the growth of Indigenous tourism. For too long we’ve seen global entities try to market Indigenous tourism on our behalf, yet many travellers still don’t know about our industry, its importance to preserving our cultures and in reconciliation efforts,” says Keith Henry, president and CEO of ITAC. “By joining forces globally, we can elevate Indigenous tourism to new heights, ensuring its long-term sustainability and impact on Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It is no longer about us without us.”

The vision for the organization is to establish an international tourism network of Indigenous tourism associations in each of our countries. DO-IT aims to lead initiatives like international research, and perception studies and uncover trends that will support Indigenous tourism businesses—as well as ensure a much stronger presence and unified message with major global organizations and key industry conferences.

The announcement of the initiative was shared during a panel at IITC, organized by ITAC, held February 26-28. Panelists Sherry Rupert, CEO of AIANTA, Pania Tyson-Nathan, chief executive of NZMT, and Keith Henry, president and CEO of ITAC, convened for a conversation on international brand alignment in Indigenous tourism. This discussion shared best practices, insights, and the importance of collaboration in propelling Indigenous-led tourism initiatives worldwide.

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