New Global Indigenous Tourism Association soft launched

AIANTA, NZMT, ITAC create DO-IT at IITC

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

Destination Original International Tourism 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 organisation 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.

Source: Indigenous Tourism Canada/Facebook

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“It’s so important to have an Indigenous-led organization like DO-IT lead the growth of Indigenous tourism,” said Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “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.

 “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 organisation 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, perception studies, uncover trends that will support Indigenous tourism businesses, as well as ensure a much stronger presence and unified message with major global organisations and key industry conferences.

“This signifies a monumental step towards amplifying Indigenous voices in the global tourism arena,” said Sherry L. Rupert, CEO of AIANTA. “Together, DO-IT will pave the way for the development and marketing of sustainable and authentic Indigenous tourism experiences. Not only it is our time to shine but this will offer consumers the perfect platform to learn of original experiences anywhere they travel in the world!”

The initiative is set to revolutionise the global Indigenous tourism landscape was shared during a panel at IITC, organised by ITAC, held 26-28 February. Panelists Sherry Rupert, CEO of AIANTA, Pania Tyson-Nathan, Chief Executive of NZMT, and Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC, convened for a groundbreaking conversation on international brand alignment in Indigenous tourism. This pivotal discussion shared best practices, insights, and the importance of collaboration in propelling Indigenous-led tourism initiatives worldwide.

Pania Tyson-Nathan, Chief Executive of NZMT said, “Firmly fixed in our shared vision, we will safeguard the well-being of our Indigenous communities, cherish and preserve our cultural heritages, and honour and protect our wildlife and environment.

“As courageous and ambitious leaders in international Indigenous tourism, our dedication extends to the care and hospitality of our visitors, ensuring their experience is respectful.

“Through our endeavours, we will enrich cultural wealth in harmony with Earth Mother. We look forward in the implementation and full launch of this organisation with our partners and start onboarding new Indigenous Destinations very soon – our possibilities are endless!”

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