The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has announced WestJet as the official airline sponsor of this year’s National Indigenous Tourism Conference (NITC), hosted in the heart of the airline’s hometown at Grey Eagle Resort and Casino on Tsuut’ina Nation in Calgary, Alberta from March 8-10, 2022.
“Building back better” will earmark the theme of the conference, encouraging the Canadian travel and tourism industry to come together to support the Indigenous tourism sector in rebuilding from the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President, External Affairs and Chief Legal Officer will deliver a keynote address on day two of the conference.
“I am humbled to receive the opportunity to speak at this year’s National Indigenous Tourism Conference and re-affirm WestJet’s commitment to leading the recovery of Canada’s travel and tourism sector,” said Avery. “On behalf of WestJet and WestJetters, we are proud to be the official airline sponsor of such an important event and to continue to build on our meaningful partnership with ITAC throughout 2022 and beyond.”
Founded in 2019, WestJet's partnership with ITAC marked a three-year commitment by the airline to foster opportunities for Indigenous tourism by amplifying Indigenous culture and history, while bringing global awareness to Indigenous tourism experiences.
“Westjet continues to show us what reconciliation in action looks like and will help us build back the Indigenous tourism industry,” said Keith Henry, CEO and President of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). “Westjet’s sponsorship and participation in the conference is another example of how our two organizations continue to roll out purposeful programs and sponsorship opportunities that make a difference to Indigenous business owners. Their NITC sponsorship helps to make it possible for our community to rally together, expand our thinking, and go on to lead successful businesses.”
Through the significant partnership, WestJet and ITAC provided nine, $10,000 grants to Indigenous tourism businesses across Canada. The delivery of the grants came in May 2021, providing timely support to businesses that had been devastated by COVID-19 and the resulting shutdown of Canada’s tourism industry.