WeTravel Launches Course on Partnering With Indigenous Communities

WeTravel has launched a free online course in partnership with Indigenous Tourism Collaborative of the Americas (ITCA). The course, titled “Indigenous Tourism: How to Partner with Indigenous Communities,” 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 offers tips on how to find and develop 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.

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 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:

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

For more information, www.resources.wetravel.com.

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