The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) along with its core partners Indigenous Tourism of British Columbia (ITBC), Tourism Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, Shackan Indian Band, Lower Nicola Indian Band, were chosen as the successful bidder to host the 8th annual International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC) in Kelowna, British Columbia in 2019.

Each year, IITC brings together delegates from the Canadian tourism industry, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities, as well as representatives from global Indigenous tourism organizations to discuss Indigenous tourism topics, barriers, opportunities and trends across Canada and the world. During the culmination of a successful 7th IITC in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this week, the announcement of next year’s host destination in the Thompson Okanagan was celebrated yesterday by over 600 delegates.

WFN Councilor Fernanda Alexander is looking forward to the event. "Westbank First Nation is excited for this amazing opportunity and this being the first time our three nations are working together in a collaborative way to celebrate and welcome guests from around the world to kiʔlawnaʔ (kelowna) for the 2019 International Indigenous Tourism Conference.  They will experience our cultural uniqueness, hear the captikʷəɬ (stories) of our people and walk on the lands from time immemorial. I look forward to promoting further entrepreneurship on our lands and within our community. Our lands define us and we are beautiful people!"

Link to Tourism Okanagan Tourism Association

Link to Conference Welcome Video