The goal of the Aboriginal Tourism Ontario Strategy – Phase 1 was to listen to the voices of Aboriginal tourism business in Region 13A and objectively assess their current state. A categorized inventory of Aboriginal businesses representing a cross-section of tourism sectors was developed. Through a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process, the main challenges, opportunities and recommendations were identified and assessed. Phase 1 identified opportunities for product development, training, a cultural authenticity program and marketing and packaging. Phase 1 recommended moving forward with an Aboriginal Tourism Ontario organization.
Phase 2 saw the development of an operational business plan for Aboriginal Tourism Ontario and was built on the strategic priorities identified in Phase 1. This included developing an effective management structure and organizational framework for the provincial organization. An implementation plan was developed for the four directions the organization is built on including product development, human resources, cultural authenticity and marketing and branding. The mandate of Aboriginal Tourism Ontario will be to support, recognize and market Aboriginal tourism businesses and communities in Ontario and grow the tourism receipts of Aboriginal businesses.