Alberta investing to grow Indigenous tourism


The Alberta government is increasing funding to support Indigenous tourism experiences across the province as part of the plan to help the tourism sector recover.

As part of Budget 2021, the province is providing funding over the next three years to Indigenous Tourism Alberta to help grow Indigenous tourism businesses across the province. This funding will help Indigenous entrepreneurs expand their skills, leading to new business development and employment, particularly in Indigenous communities.

Indigenous Tourism Alberta will receive $1.2 million in 2021-22, $1.25 million in 2022-23 and $1.3 million in 2023-24.

“This is great news and will help showcase the incredible culture and history of First Nations and Métis communities across the province. Visitors to Alberta want an authentic Indigenous experience, and this will generate more interest and attract people from all over the world,” said Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations.

“This funding will play an important role in helping the economic recovery of an industry that has been heavily impacted over the past year. As we look towards the future of tourism in Alberta, Indigenous tourism is a critical piece to its recovery and these funds will help contribute to its recovery and ultimately its growth,” added Shae Bird, CEO, Indigenous Tourism Alberta.

As part of this funding, Travel Alberta and Indigenous Tourism Alberta have signed a three-year partnership agreement supporting reconciliation, Indigenous tourism businesses and helps position Alberta as the premier destination for Indigenous tourism in Canada.

Alberta is situated in the territories of Treaties 6, 7 and 8, as well as the homeland of the Métis people, giving visitors to the province the unique opportunity to engage in authentic, sustainable and culturally rich Indigenous experiences.

Pre-COVID, Indigenous tourism in Alberta was worth an estimated $166.2 million in gross domestic product while creating 3,000 jobs province-wide.