MATAWA FIRST NATIONS HOST COMMUNITY SESSIONS TO DEVELOP 20-YEAR REGIONAL TOURISM STRATEGIC PLAN
THUNDER BAY, ON: Matawa’s Economic Development Unit today hosted a Tourism Strategy Meeting and Off-Reserve Community Session to hear views and opinions on a Regional Tourism Strategic Plan. Over the past few months, input has also been received through a series of workshops in all the nine Matawa communities.
Funded through the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Rural Economic Development Program, the purpose of the project is to set a vision, goals and strategies for long-term development in the tourism sector as one of the economic drivers available to Matawa communities and to help expand and build local industry.
Components of the 20-year plan will include:
- product development including enhancing mainstream tourism experiences within an Indigenous cultural element;
- training and capacity development in all facets of the tourism industry including business management, marketing, hospitality and guiding;
- cultural authenticity for target markets like connected explorer and knowledge seekers;
- marketing and branding distinguishing Matawa communities from those of other tourism providers;
- promoting ease of access for target markets in highway access and remote communities; and,
- financing requirements to establish and sustain a tourism industry
The Matawa Tourism Strategic Plan is expected to be completed by March 31, 2018.
Matawa currently supports the Native Camp Operators Alliance compromised of a group of remote, fly in fishing and hunting outpost camps owned and operated by Indigenous Peoples from the Matawa communities promoted by Moccasin Trails Adventures. The camps are located within three of the five largest watersheds in Ontario, all of which drain into either Hudson Bay or James Bay.