Indigenous Tourism Alberta providing Stimulus Relief Fund

Stimulus grant is part of ongoing efforts to provide assistance to Indigenous Tourism Businesses impacted by COVID-19. Deadlines for applications are July 22.

Treaty 6 Territory, Alberta, Canada (June 24, 2020) – Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) is offering a Stimulus Relief Fund to assist and provide assistance for Indigenous businesses in Alberta being impacted by COVID-19.

In response to COVID-19, Indigenous Tourism Alberta has revised their one-year action plan for the continued support of its members through these challenging times. This Stimulus Fund is one of the key action items within the revised action plan to further support the sustainability of the Indigenous tourism industry while navigating the current COVID-19 environment. 

The Stimulus Fund will allow businesses to prepare for the recovery by covering costs such as marketing overhead, business costs, health and safety standard improvements and staffing. 

“Indigenous tourism businesses have been hit especially hard by COVID-19 and the travel restrictions that have necessarily been put in place. Our goal at ITA is to help these businesses and our industry as a whole, remain competitive to accelerate our recovery and contribute to the diversification of our provincial economy,” said Shae Bird, Executive Director of Indigenous Tourism Alberta.

Indigenous tourism in Alberta is worth an estimated $166.2 million of GDP today and carries with it tremendous upside potential. COVID-19 has had a direct negative impact on this sector, and could potentially lose 62percent of its value this year in Alberta alone. Sustaining Indigenous tourism in Alberta is a key priority for ITA. 

The ITA Stimulus Fund is open to all members of ITA that are export-ready, market-ready and visitor-ready and provides up to $7,500 per member operator. The stimulus fund works in conjunction with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s (ITAC) stimulus fund, meaning the total contribution of the two funds cannot exceed $25,000 per operator. 

Applications for the Stimulus Fund can be filled out here

“Alberta’s visitor economy will be an essential and growing component of many local and regional economies, so supporting our tourism businesses now is an important step in ensuring our industry thrives well into the future,” said Bird. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures introduced to contain its spread, has had an immediate and catastrophic impact on Alberta’s $8.9B visitor economy. According to the latest Conference Board of Canada research, Indigenous tourism in Alberta is facing a 62 percent decrease in direct GDP contribution and a 60 percent decrease in employment within its respective sector within 2020. Federal and provincial government responses such as the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy and tax relief programs have greatly helped many tourism businesses to date. However, the substantive recovery of the visitor economy is expected to be slower than previously anticipated and greater supports are required in order to avoid significant increases in business closures, job losses and local community impacts.

ITA Webinar Series

In addition to their economic support, ITA is providing a series of webinars in an effort to help their member businesses with all facets of running a tourism business. Over the course of this year, these webinars will help businesses with their operations and will cover a wide variety of topics.

To sign up or for more information click here.

The complete list of webinars is below. 

  • June 25 – Tourism Restart in Alberta
  • July 9 – Marketing your business in a cost-effective way
  • July 23 – Financial planning in tourism
  • August 6 – ITA 101
  • August 20 – Creating a good tourism website
  • September 3 – Creating engaging content for social media
  • September 17 – Online booking platforms
  • October 1 – Creating meaningful partnerships
  • October 15 – Working with travel media
  • October 29 – Working with the travel trade

About Indigenous Tourism Alberta

Incorporated in 2018 as a not-for-profit society, Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) provides leadership in the development and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism experiences across Alberta through innovative partnerships. The ITA board consists of six board members representing Indigenous tourism businesses from across Alberta. Indigenous tourism currently generates $130 million in spending in Alberta, providing jobs and supporting entrepreneurs, businesses and communities. For more information, visit www.indigenoustourismalberta.ca.

To set up an interview with Indigenous Tourism Alberta Executive Director, Shae Bird, please contact:

Jessica Harcombe Fleming
Beattie Tartan
403.614.6175
jessica.harcombefleming@beattiegroup.com