American Indian Tourism Conference to provide insights in Green Bay
By Rachel Cromer
With the political climate changing rapidly; sustainable, independent economic stability and growth are crucial for tribes and tribal communities—now more than ever. Beyond economic priorities, community development, cultural preservation and even basic infrastructure are being brought to the forefront of discussions across the board.
Here enters cultural tourism. Tribal tourism is on the rise, and the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is working to ensure tribes and Native-owned businesses get their fair share of this multi-billion-dollar industry. Now is the time to start, develop or expand your tourism program.
At the annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC), hosted this year by the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin in Green Bay, top tourism professionals from across the U.S. and Indian Country will discuss the impact of tourism. At AITC, attendees will learn about and discuss the value of tourism—in regards to cultural perpetuation, economic sustainability, and even developing the crucial infrastructure to support tourism development and community development.
During the week of Sept. 11-14, tourism professionals, tribal representatives and local, state and national partners will gather in Green Bay to share knowledge, experience and best practices from tourism programs in the U.S. as a whole and from Indian Country. We encourage you to please join us for the only national conference on tourism in Indian Country.
An impressive line-up of expert speakers will provide resources and training fit for all, including tribes just entering the tourism industry to tribes with an experienced tourism program. AITC strives to provide attendees with a quality educational forum to help tribes and tribal businesses with their travel and tourism initiatives. AIANTA is also proud to give attendees the opportunity to have their respective tribal community’s voice heard in our annual regional meetings.
This year’s program includes keynote speakers that are critical to the discussion regarding the growing impact of cultural tourism. AIANTA is proud to announce speakers including Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation, president of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and vice president of the National Congress of American Indians; and Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and president of the National Congress of American Indians.
As tourism continues to grow in Indian Country, AIANTA is proud to bring these nationally and internationally renowned tourism experts to the 19th Annual AITC.
In AIANTA’s extensive support of tribal tourism, the goal is to make Native communities stronger. This annual conference helps give tribes the tools and knowledge they need to develop outstanding destinations that benefit their communities in a multitude of ways. This is a critical time to participate in the national discussion within the industry to ensure we build on the movement for tribal inclusion in the cultural and economic benefits of investing in cultural tourism development.
AITC also gives participants a chance to meet one-on-one with tourism destinations, service providers and artists in the exhibition area.
In this year’s sessions, attendees will learn more about tour packaging, attracting tour operators, creating itineraries, positioning your tribe for the international tourism market, tourism assessment and inventory development, new technologies and strategies for marketing and media, protecting intellectual and cultural property, working with state and federal agencies, and more.
AIANTA will again be assisting tribes and tribal businesses with on-site technical assistance registration on NativeAmerica.travel, the first ever destinations website dedicated to Indian Country.
Sponsorship, trade show booths and artisan opportunities are available and offer extensive networking and exposure to tribal and tourism leaders from across the country.
AIANTA needs partners like you! There are additional ways in which you can become involved with the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and our 19th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference. We offer sponsorship opportunities and actively encourage and support business promotion through trade show booths. AITC is proud to provide exhibit tables for local, regional and national businesses and artisans to exhibit and market their work. ♦
To learn more about the 19th Annual AITC and to register, visit www.AITC2017.com.
Nominations Sought for Awards
AIANTAís annual Enough Good People Silent Auction and Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. This special event gives AIANTA an opportunity to recognize the best of the tribal hospitality and tourism industry, accompanied by dinner, entertainment and a silent auction featuring extraordinary items, which include native artwork from all over the country and overnight stays at tribal destinations throughout Indian Country. All proceeds from the silent auction and the event benefit the AIANTA scholarship fund. To nominate your favorite tribal destination, visit www.aitc2017.com.
Tourism Experts on the Agenda
• Ron Erdman, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO)
• Pam Inman, president of the National Tour Association (NTA)
• Mary Motsenbocker, president of International Tourism Marketing and Go West Summit
• Donatello Osti, U.S. Consulate, Milan Italy
• Chrystal Denys, commercial specialist, American Embassy, London United Kingdom
• Attend the conference, register online today!
• Become a sponsor
• Become an exhibitor
• Donate to the silent auction or scholarship fund