WeTravel and Indigenous Tourism Collaborative of the Americas Launch New Course

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WeTravel, the industry-leading bookings and payments platform for multi-day travel businesses, launched today a free online course in partnership with Indigenous Tourism Collaborative of the Americas (ITCA), Indigenous Tourism: How to Partner with Indigenous Communities.

The course aims to equip travel professionals with the knowledge and skills to form respectful and impactful tourism partnerships with Indigenous people and communities and to support and strengthen Indigenous cultures through travel. The 20-minute course will cover parts of Indigenous People and the Travel Industry: Global Good Practice Guidelines, which explores working with Indigenous tour operators and suppliers and practical tips on how to find and develop meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities. The Global Good Practice Guidelines were researched and co-produced by Planeterra Foundation and the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies in partnership with G Adventures.  

“The Indigenous Tourism Collaborative of the Americas is thrilled to have collaborated with WeTravel to launch a course dedicated to fostering partnerships with Indigenous communities. Indigenous tourism is an exciting, growing, and rewarding tourism market, and we encourage the WeTravel audience to use the course to build new Indigenous partnerships that demonstrate respect for Indigenous rights, meaningful engagement, equity, and fairness” said Seleni Matus, a member of ITCA’s Steering Committee and Executive Director of the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies (GW IITS). 

Indigenous tourism is experiencing significant global growth, with a particularly remarkable surge across North America. In Canada, it accounts for nearly $2 billion of the nation’s GDP, while in the United States, Native tourism has blossomed into a robust $14 billion industry. Shedding light on changing traveler preferences, a report developed by WeTravel in December 2023, revealed that 17 percent of travel businesses that created new trip offerings opted to add community-based experiences, emphasizing the growing importance for travel operators to cultivate meaningful connections with Indigenous communities.

Travelers are increasingly drawn to experiences that showcase the unique heritage and traditions of local Indigenous people. This shift emphasizes the heightened responsibility of tour operators and travel businesses to build robust, respectful relationships with Indigenous communities. Establishing such connections not only ensures the creation of authentic and enriching travel experiences but also plays a pivotal role in fostering economic empowerment and sustainable partnerships that benefit both the travelers and the communities they engage with.

The 20-minute course is broken into three modules, including a focus on: 

  1. Introduction to Indigenous Tourism: Explore the foundations of Indigenous tourism, examining its economic impact and the importance of collaboration with Indigenous communities.

  2. Guidelines for Partnering with Indigenous Communities: Delve into global good practice guidelines and learn practical steps to establish respectful, equitable, and culturally sensitive business relationships in Indigenous tourism.

  3. Continue Your Learning: Wrap up the course by discovering additional resources to further your education and encourage the development of respectful, impactful partnerships with Indigenous communities.

“In partnership with ITCA, we’re shaping a future where meaningful cross-cultural exchanges thrive, where the richness of Indigenous traditions is celebrated and strengthened through genuine connections, and where travel becomes a powerful force for positive change in the communities we encounter,” said Ted Clements, WeTravel’s CEO.

For more information on the course and to start your free learning, visit here: https://resources.wetravel.com/indigenous-tourism-course

Founded in 2016, WeTravel was built as a platform to support travel businesses by digitizing and simplifying the travel booking process. Now used by more than 3,000 travel companies—to transact with nearly 500,000 travelers and thousands of suppliers annually—the business has revolutionized how the travel industry manages their businesses with a suite of integrated SaaS and FinTech solutions that fit into an intuitive platform.

The Indigenous Tourism Collaborative of the Americas is a hemispheric network of more than 100 Indigenous leaders, leading tourism organizations, and public and private industry champions who work together to support sustainable Indigenous tourism development across the American continents. The collaborative is steered by the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies, the Organization of American States, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, supported by the Office of Indian Economic Development and the White House Council on Native American Affairs. For further information and to explore the Indigenous Tourism eLibrary, visit ITCA’s website.

Contributing members are responsible for the accuracy of content contributed to the Member News section of AdventureTravelNews.

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