The Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC) will provide support for 18 Aboriginal tourism businesses across Canada through their Product Development Fund.
While the majority of applications are for a form of marketing enhancement for tourism attractions, the large number of applications demonstrates the need for assistance to help guide and support Aboriginal tourism businesses reach their market-ready state and sustainably grow into economic success. A number of applicants submitted requests for support of projects that are in the initial phase of planning and project feasibility. A total of 87 applications were received from across Canada.
“The Product Development Fund provides us with the opportunity to make a positive impact towards enhanced market-readiness within the Aboriginal tourism industry in Canada,” says Keith Henry, President & CEO of Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada. “It is apparent that with close to 90 applications for funding, Aboriginal tourism in Canada is growing steadily.”
Successful applicants will use the Product Development Fund for improvements to business websites, marketing assets and materials, coordination of marketing priorities, training front-line staff, increasing cultural knowledge and education, conducting industry-specific technical training, supported permitting and licensing support, and funding small capital projects including trail development and improvement of viewpoints.
Product Development Fund recipients showcase a diversity of geographic locations, as well as a variation of Aboriginal tourism offerings that range from lodging and outdoor tours to galleries and cultural centres. The variation of projects that are supported, including marketing, training, permitting, and capital improvements is reflective of the need by different businesses.
By improving product and capacity development among partner and member organizations, the Product Development Fund forms part of ATAC’s strategic five-year plan to grow Aboriginal tourism revenues, jobs, and businesses across the country. Funding for the initiative is supported by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
Recipients of the 2016-17 Product Development Fund include:
- Cariboo Chilcotin Jetboat Adventures
- Quaaout Lodge
- Painted Warriors
- Brown Bear Woman Events (Spotted Elk Cultural Centre)
- Bay River Developments
- Eastside Aboriginal Sustainable Tourism Inc.
- Wikwemikong Development
- Spirit Island Adventures
- Site Traditionnel Huron S. Annanack Enterprises Inc.
- Lennox Island Development Corporation
- Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Centre
- Conne River Outfitters
- Pirates Haven ATV Friendly RV Park, Chalets & Adventures
- Shakat Tun Adventures
- Grey Goose Lodge Ltd
- North Star Adventures
- Beaches Bed & Breakfast (Kivalliq Consulting, Management & Training Services Ltd.)
- Hamlet of Chesterfield Inlet