Wikwemikong Tourism launching new website on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Credit: Bebamikawe Memorial Trail Facebook

On June 21 Wikwemikong Tourism will be launching a new website at www.wikytours.com to promote their Indigenous Tourism experiences on Manitoulin Island and in the Killarney region including a new e-store/gift shop showcasing work from local artists.

As part of the organizations post pandemic strategy to strengthen their digital media and to continue to position Wikwemikong Tourism as leader in Indigenous Tourism in Canada, they will be launching a brand-new website that features all of their products and services. The launch will coincide with National Indigenous Peoples Day and the launch of the new interactive experience at the Bebamikawe Memorial Trail via the Driftscape App. It is the perfect platform to launch the website along with a new promotional video highlighting their award- winning Indigenous Tourism experiences.  In addition to highlighting the Cultural Experiences offered by Wikwemikong Tourism for both free independent travellers and travel trade, the site will feature an events calendar to keep visitors up to date with all that is happening in the community of Wiikwemkoong, provide information on points of interest and accommodations, showcase the organization’s trail development services, and showcase local artisans work for purchase through the Gift Shop.

The Gift Shop will feature authentic products that are exclusively made from local artists, and will include a wide range of items from jewelry to paintings to quill boxes, and even hand-made apparel like moccasins and gloves. The e-store is designed to be a platform that provides local artists with another channel to sell their work while simultaneously helping to build their portfolios. The site is funded in part from FedNor and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada stimulus fund with art inventory funding supported by the Indigenous Community Business Fund. “The new website is intended to be a tool that will drive our post Covid recovery and allow us to reach our pre covid growth; not only is the site used to promote our Cultural Tourism experiences it’s also a vehicle for local artists to promote their work, build their profiles and reach new markets” mentioned Marketing/Product Development Coordinator, Dustin Peltier “Many Indigenous artists rely on the powwow trail to showcase their work. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 putting everything on pause, it has been a challenge for artists to sell their art, and we are hoping the website will provide them with another avenue to get their art out there and hopefully sell some of their beautiful work”.

With the financial support of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, the tourism team were able to produce a promotional video to showcase the breathtaking views of Wiikwemkoong, premier events, and the land based cultural learning experiences that Wikwemikong Tourism offers to visitors and community members alike. The video will be launched on June 21 as part of the website launch.

Wikwemikong Tourism has previously won awards for their industry leading cultural experiences including being recognized as Tourism Champions in 2017 by Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario, Indigenous Tourism Award in 2018 by Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, and the Indigenous Adventure award in 2019 by Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. The Wiikwemkoong Annual Cultural Festival was also awarded the Indigenous Tourism Award in 2019 by Tourism Industry Association of Ontario.

Wikwemikong Tourism is a department of the Enaadmaagehjik (WDC) and is responsible for community tourism development guided by the Wikwemikong Tourism Strategy, with a vision to build a foundation for sustainable tourism development that will position Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory as a four-season destination.  Enaadmaagehjik is a non-profit organization with a mission to foster and advance the interests of the band members of the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory through the promotion and generation of a diversified economic base in order to increase the wealth, opportunity, quality of life of the total Wikwemikong population.