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ITAC & Destination Canada partner with Signature Travel Network – PAX News

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Destination Canada have formed a new partnership with Signature Travel Network, a member-owned travel cooperative that includes 277 member agencies with more than 600 retail locations around the world. 

Collectively, Signature members generate more than $11 billion in annual travel sales, according to a press release issued Tuesday (Oct. 4). 

The agreement represents the first global partnership between an Indigenous organization and Signature Travel Network.

“Moving Indigenous businesses into the international spotlight through the Signature Travel Network will help our industry grow,” says Keith Henry, president and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. “We know visitors are increasingly interested in experiencing Indigenous tourism while in Canada and this new partnership will help connect travellers with high quality Indigenous businesses, restaurants and attractions.” 

READ MORE: Truth, reconciliation & how travel can support Indigenous Peoples year-round

Henry said the partnership will also benefit Indigenous businesses by bringing tourism professionals out for a Signature Educational Journey, otherwise known as a FAM. 

“We know that not everyone knows what to expect from an Indigenous tourism experience, but by hosting travel trade on a FAM, businesses will have the opportunity to share our lands, cultures and cuisines in an authentic way, so that agents can better understand and sell the experiences to their clients,” he said. 

Chris Alestra, Signature’s vice-president of destination and air partnerships, said Signature is delighted to collaborate with ITAC to expand the network’s awareness of Indigenous owned travel products. 

“Establishing this direct relationship with ITAC gives us the ability to delve deeper to provide meaningful enhancements to our packages in Canada that meet the goals of Indigenous communities,” said Alestra. 

Alestra said knowledge of ITAC’s guidelines for helping businesses become export-ready gives the network the confidence to include Indigenous offerings in their training and marketing materials.

The partnership will be announced at the National Signature Conference in Las Vegas November 8-11, 2022 and will reach 7,000 travel advisors. 

ITAC will be recognized as a Signature Preferred Destination Association partner and will be the sponsor of the conference’s opening reception.


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