TITLE: The necessity of the collaboration of the government of Canada, Aboriginals and tour operators for the optimal prosperity in the expansion of Northern Canadian Tourism.
SUBJECT: It is an essential obligation that the government of Canada must include all Aboriginals in creating policies on further development of the Northern Canada Tourism expansion plans. There is an increase in visitors going to the Canadian North region in recent years for both business and tourism, causing a demand for more infrastructure and access. “The North is renowned for its nature and wilderness adventures and aurora tourism, it also offers history, distinctive culture and festivals as well as some innovative emerging products such as 'diamond tourism' in the Northwest Territories (Industry Canada, 2011)”, which are the main attractions Northern Canada has to offer. However, the potential environmental and socio-cultural impacts of Northern Canadian Tourism may have on Aboriginals must be closely monitored and regulated by the government to avoid problems of cultural identity loss or displacement. The Canadian government must become more actively involved in creating and maintain equitable policies that allow for tourism income generation in Northern Canada.
BACKGROUND: * Canadian Northern Tourism expansion has a definite need in the near future for Canada as more visitors are travelling to the North for business and leisure travel in recent years. The Northern regions of Canada are lacking in infrastructure to support new tourism and is challenging to access at times. * The Northern parts of Canada are densely populated with Aboriginals who are key stakeholders to this expansion project. Canadian Northern Tourism expansion will bring about many benefits to Aboriginals such as wealth creation, economic development and self-reliance of Aboriginal people and communities in all provinces/territories in Northern Canada. “Aboriginal tourism is one of Canada's unique strengths, in both the domestic and international markets” (Industry Canada, 2011). However, the growth of aboriginal tourism in the sector of the Canadian tourism industry faces major challenges. “Tourism represents about one quarter of the Aboriginal economy in Quebec, the North and the West” (Industry Canada, 2011). “According to the 2003 National Study on Aboriginal Tourism in Canada, demand for Aboriginal tourism is outpacing capacity. There are relatively few market-ready products in the Aboriginal tourism sector, particularly near gateway cities and major tourism routes. Many businesses do not have sufficient tourism market awareness, business skills, product development and marketing expertise to successfully compete” (Industry Canada, 2011). * It is imperative that the Canadian government as well as prospective tour operators to work closely with Aboriginals and their communities to avoid tension between the parties involved in new Northern tourism and infrastructure development plans. If Aboriginals are not included there may be extreme resentment from their population and communities because of intrusion to their land that they are spiritually connected with. Canada is praised for being a mosaic of cultures therefore it is important we respect and not try to assimilate Aboriginals who are the indigenous people of Canada. * Tour operators will benefit from working with the Aboriginal community since they are extremely knowledgeable of Northern Canadian land and wildlife. Aboriginal communities will know when the best season, time of day and where to see attractions that lure visitors to North for leisure. In collaboration this expansion can be an exceptionally successful venture as long as tour operators value and follow the request laid out by the Aboriginal communities during the planning process. This