WINNIPEG - Manitoba’s tourism industry has a new association tasked with developing and promoting Indigenous-owned businesses and communities across the province as tourists gradually return.
Manitoba Indigenous Tourism Association Board Chair David Daley says his Churchill dog-sledding business was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the new organization will provide a path toward resurgence and prosperity for businesses like his.
Daley says MITA is an advocacy group that will support more than 100 existing businesses, as well as indigenous entrepreneurs. So far this year, Manitoba’s Indigenous tourism sector has brought in $29 million in gross domestic product.
In collaboration with Travel Manitoba, MITA has released parts of its five-year plan for economic recovery. Manitoba’s crown agency for tourism says the industry may not get back to the level of economic strength it had in 2019 until 2024.
Travel Manitoba says it’s committed to promoting experiences with authentic Indigenous culture in Manitoba in partnership with MITA, and, with borders slowly reopening, an important aspect of its marketing strategy will be to bring in visitors from around the world.