Over 700 Indigenous tourism leaders from around the world have came to Kelowna, B.C. for a two day International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC) at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort. This was the eighth annual IITC hosted by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC).

The conference occurred November 13-14 and featured cultural performances, presentations, breakout groups and evening events. Both Jordin Tootoo and Serain Fox were in attendance as keynote speakers and the people of the syilx, nlakápamux and secwépemc Nations represented in numbers. Chief Chris Derickson of Westbank First Nation shared inspiring opening comments and Councillor Jordan Coble emceed the grand entry. Councillor Fernanda Alexander played a vital roll in bringing the conference to the traditional syilx territory believing in the continued progression of Indigenous Tourism. 

The eight host Nations of the Okanagan all played a key roll in the development of the conference developing the theme of “Inspire. Transform. Unite.  Accelerating Indigenous tourism growth.” Inspire  encourages communities and entrepreneurs to explore tourism as an economic driver. Transform focuses on the impacts of Indigenous tourism on visitors and Indigenous operators alike. Unite speaks to the power of partnerships and coming together to empower the Indigenous tourism industry.

The conference closed with the annual Indigenous Tourism Awards Gala where industry leaders were recognized for their exceptional Indigenous tourism experiences from coast to coast to coast. Gala awards were created by local artist, Janine Lott.