AIANTA in the News

AIANTA in the News (2019)

Reimagining the Rural West: Cultural Heritage and Tourism
As travelers increasingly seek out authentic and singular experiences, tourism presents an opportunity for rural destinations to expose visitors to their rich culture and history. This panel explored how western tribes and communities are developing cultural heritage tourism and capitalizing on their unique local offerings to drive sustainable economic growth. Panelists: Melvin Juanico, Operations Manager, Sky City Cultural Center & Haak’u Museum; Angelisa Murray, Owner and Guide, Heritage Inspirations; Sherry Rupert, Executive Director, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association. // Western Governors’ Association; Nov. 4, 2019

The budding agritourism business
Picking your own apples, tracing your dinner from farm to table and even touring gardens and vineyards are all elements of agritourism that some Native business owners are cashing in on. Tribes and individual farmers, agritourism is a way to build interest in the culture surrounding food while also satisfying the hunger people have for learning about food and connecting to it. // Native America Calling; Nov. 8, 2019

Restoration Of Desert View Watchtower At Grand Canyon Completed
A majority of the funding for the project was provided by an Artplace America grant awarded to the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Inc. on behalf of Grand Canyon National Park… // National Parks Traveler, Oct. 13, 2019

Hopi Tutuveni Attends 2019 American Indian Tourism Conference as Part of a Tourism Cohort
The Hopi Tutuveni was present at the 2019
American Indian Tourism Conference, held
at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Tulsa, Okla. Romalita Laban, Hopi Tutuveni Managing Editor attended as a member of a newly developed cohort who has been gathered for the possible development of a tourism strategy for Hopi. // Hopi Tutuveni; Oct. 1, 2019

D.C. app spotlights American landmarks ‘with a native twist’
A new mobile phone app takes users on a walking tour of Native American history — and ongoing presence — in the U.S. capital // Thomson Reuters Foundation News, Oct. 1, 2019.

See also National Post and Vancouver Sun.

Three Attractions Recognized as Best in Indian Country Tourism
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) recently honored the best Tribal destinations and leaders in the tourism industry at the Enough Good People Awards Gala & Silent Auction during the 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. // Native Business Magazine; Sept. 24, 2019

Alaska Tribal Tourism Takes Top Honors at Enough Good People Awards During American Indian Tourism Conference
Lisa Gassman, General Manager of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center were among the top honorees recognized as the best in Native American Tourism at the annual Enough Good People Awards Gala and Silent Auction. // Anchorage Press; Sept. 23, 2019

Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel honored for its cultural tourism program
The Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel was honored as “Tribal Destination of the Year” Sept. 18 for its Cultural Tourism Program, accepting the award during the 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference in Oklahoma. // Indlander; Sept. 24, 2019

Albuquerque Casino Takes Top Honors At Enough Good People Awards At American Indian Tourism Conference
Los Alamos Daily Post, Oct. 7, 2019

Best Tribal Destinations Recognized at American Indian Tourism Conference
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) honored the best tribal destinations and leaders in the tourism industry at the Enough Good People Awards Gala & Silent Auction during the 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. // Native News Online; Sept. 23, 2019

See also Seminole Tribune

North Dakota tribes team up to attract international tourists
For every million dollars spent in Indian Country, about five jobs are created, according to a report from the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association. As of 2015, about 41,000 jobs in the U.S. in total were supported by international visitors to Indian Country alone, the association’s data shows. // Bismark Tribune, Sept. 22, 2019

Video: Conference held to grow local tribal tourism
Fox 23 News; Sept. 17, 2019

Cherokee Nation hosts 21st annual Indian Tourism Conference (video included)
“Tourism is the third-largest industry in the state of Oklahoma. Not only the Cherokee Nation but the native American tribes here in Oklahoma play a huge part in that,” said Travis Owen with the Cherokee Nation. // KTUL-ABC; Sept. 17, 2019

21st American Indian Tourism Conference Underway at Cherokee Nation’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa
The 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference is returning to Oklahoma Sept. 16-19 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The conference is organized by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) and is the only national conference in the U.S. dedicated to travel and tourism in and for Indian Country. // Native News Online; Sept. 17, 2019

Biz quicks: American Indian tourism conference this week… Industrial center sold… Stores opening
The 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference is returning to Oklahoma this week at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in Catoosa. // Tulsa World News; Sept. 16, 2019

Cherokee Nation welcomes 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa
Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. to give opening address on Sept. 17. // Anadisgoi Cherokee Nation Newsroom, Sept. 16, 2019.

American Indian Tourism Conference underway
The 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference is underway through Thursday at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The conference is organized by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) and is the only national conference in the U.S. dedicated to travel and tourism in and for Indian Country. // Muskogee Phoenix; Sept. 16, 2019

American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association to host first tribal tourism information gathering session
Sherry L. Rupert, AIANTA Executive Director, and Emerson Vallo, AIANTA Board President, will facilitate the session which seeks input on successes and barriers in tribal tourism efforts across the U.S. // Indian Country Today, Sept. 10, 2019

New tour app seeks to correct the Native American narrative in the nation’s capital
“When you go to these metropolitan areas, you don’t often think about the history of that place and how native people are connected to those places and, in fact, in many places are their indigenous homelands,” [said Sherry Rupert]. “To have this app I think is really important.” // The Washington Post; Aug. 21, 2019

Are Cultural Tours Built on Exploitation?
Cultural tours to communities of color involve many parties: travel advisors, tour operators, service providers, travelers themselves, and more. So who’s responsible for making sure that a trip to an indigenous community or a historically black neighborhood is carried out ethically? // Skift, Aug. 19, 2019

How to be a good tourist on Native lands
Tips on how to be a good tourist and consider questions to think about before traveling to a tribal area. // Native America Calling, July 30, 2019

European search for ‘real Americans’ a boon for tribal tourism
[Camille] Ferguson believes it is important to capitalize on the increased interest from Europe in visiting Indian Country. //; July 29, 2019

Everyone wants to Instagram the world’s most beautiful canyon. Should they?
A sudden burst of tourism to a photogenic natural wonder is transforming a small town, and a tribe. // Vox; July 11, 2019

Culturally appropriate gift shops
Gift shops are an important source of revenue for cultural centers, museums and other Native-owned destinations. But expectations from the public put buying pressure on gift shops to offer tacky Native-themed items like plastic tomahawks, foreign-made dream catchers and T-shirts with stereotypical graphics. // Native America Calling; July 15, 2019

In Wisconsin con gli indiani d’America
(In Wisconsin with the Native Americans)
“…Wisconsin è la terra di undici tribù di nativi d’America, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, St. Croix Band of Chippewa Indians, Oneida Nation, Menominee Indian Tribe, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bad River Band of LakeSuperior Chippewa, St. Croix Band of Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, solo per citarne alcune…” //; July 20, 2019

Native American Fam Tour Brings Italian Travel Trade to Wisconsin
Three journalists and two tour operators from Italy experienced the rich culture of Native American communities in Wisconsin – thanks to a four-day familiarization tour across the state. // Brand USA; July 10, 2019

Viaggio Nelle Terre Dei Nativi Americani: Itinerario Alla Scoperta Delle Tribu del Native Wisconsin
(Travel Into the Land of Native Americans: Itinerary to Discover the Tribes of Native Wisconsin)
Organizzare un viaggio nelle terre dei nativi americani per scoprire ed esplorare ancora un’altra incredibile, sorprendente ed emozionante fetta d’America. // Simona Sacri, June 18, 2019

Travel groups work to increase foreign tourism to Wisconsin’s native communities
A group of Italian tourists visited the Northwoods to experience a culture they’ve only heard about. Some of those tourists are journalists who will share their experiences once they return home.

“We are trying to teach the Italian visitors to experience this area and learn that Native American [sic] is not what we watch in the movies, it’s completely different,” said Luisa Salomoni, a commercial specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce. // News Watch 12 (Rhinelander, Wisconsin); June 9, 2019

AIANTA, USDA to Present Free Webinar on ‘Recreation Economy’
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), in partnership with the USDA, FS and RD, is offering an exclusive webinar to help Native American Tribes and Tribal entities identify those resources when looking to grow their own outdoor infrastructure. // Native News Online; May 15, 2019; See also

A Route 66 Road Trip Through Indigenous Homelands
The e-travel guide American Indians and Route 66, which the American Indian and Alaskan Native Tourism Association created three years ago, will help me suss out those landmarks and historic places associated with 25 Indigenous tribes and pueblos along the Mother Road. // Yes! Magazine, May 13, 2019

See also

After 30 years with state, Sherry Rupert leaving Nevada
[Rupert’s] leaving to become executive director of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. AIANTA, which announced Rupert’s appointment April 23, works with all of the nation’s 567 federally recognized tribes, assisting each with tourism development, an area of passion for Rupert. // Nevada Appeal; May 10, 2019

George Washington University to collaborate with Indigenous communities to create ‘Guide to Indigenous Washington, DC’
In developing the resource, the center will partner with the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) and work with historians, tribal organizations that are headquartered in Washington, D.C., and the Maryland and Virginia Indigenous communities. // Indian Country Today, May 7, 2019

AIANTA Welcomes Sherry L. Rupert as Executive Director
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), the nation’s leading national Native tourism organization, is pleased to announce the appointment of Sherry L. Rupert as the new executive director. // Native News Online, April 24, 2019.

See also Native Business Magazine, Indian Country TV, eTurbo News; Indian Gaming

A ‘Pink Moon’ will be visible this weekend. Here’s what that could mean for you
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association does mention that different indigenous peoples had names for the full moon at certain times of the year. // Business Insider; April 19, 2019

See also Business Insider Australia and Business Insider Malaysia.

Registration Now Open for 2019 American Indian Tourism Conference
The conference, scheduled for September 16-19, 2019 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, is organized by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and hosted by Cherokee Nation. // Native News Online, April 11, 2019

See also: Native Knot.

Experience the Rich Heritage of America’s First Nations
Although casinos still serve as popular entertainment attractions for many tribes, in the past 15 years, a renaissance of cultural attractions has popped up in tribal reservations across the country. Tribes have learned to take control of their public perceptions, resulting in cultural tourism investments by several tribes that coincide with a broader tourism demand for more authentic travel experiences. // The Group Travel Leader, April 2, 2019

Native Americans Shift Stereotypes, Boost Economies, Through Tourism
Native tourism can be beneficial to tribes, boosting economies, creating jobs and allowing Native communities to control their own historic narratives. // Voice of America, March 27, 2019

Two Alaskans elected to U.S. Travel Association board
Camille Ferguson, executive director of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, and Explore Fairbanks President and CEO Deb Hickok have been elected to three-year terms on the U.S. Travel Association board of directors. // Travel Weekly; March 21, 2019

AIANTA Activity Schedule at ITB
FVW Daily (page 15); March 9, 2019

Wo die kleinsten Totempfähle der Welt entstehen
(Find the world’s tiniest tiny totem pole carver)
ITB Newsroom; March 7, 2019

Neue Reise-Ideen (New Travel Ideas)
American Native Americans like the Chickasaw nation are expected and invite you to meet under the motto ” welcome to our home.”
America Journal Facebook Page; March 5, 2019

AIANTA Executive Director Camille Ferguson to Represent Tribal Tourism on U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors
Native News Online; Feb. 27, 2019

U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors gets new members
Camille Ferguson, the executive director of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has been elected to the U.S. Travel Association’s Board of Directors as an At-Large Director, the association announced on Thursday. // eTurbo News; Feb. 27, 2018

Amerikas Ureinwohner auf der ITB 2019 treffen
Unter dem Motto „Welcome to Our Home“ kann man in diesem Jahr gemeinsam mit der American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) und sieben Partnern die Vielfalt amerikanischer Ureinwohner kennenlernen. // LifePR; Feb. 18, 2019

Putting the Alaskan Tribe of Chickaloon’s Native Village on the Tourist Map
“For a novice like me, the GW program provided a good introduction. I particularly appreciated the cultural focus,” reflected Winnestaffer. “Rather than tourism generally, which is what’s usually available, the courses addressed issues that were of specific relevance to tribes and heritage tourism.” // The George Washington University Blog; Jan. 10, 2019

AIANTA in the News (2018)

Year End Giving: American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Promotes Cultural Exchange
Native News Online; Dec. 29, 2018

Tribal tourism planners: apply for an AIANTA Go International Scholarship
Indian Country Today; Dec. 21, 2018

Native American Art Markets Offer Authentic Indian Art for the Holidays
Native News Online; Dec. 9, 2018

We-Ko-Pa Resort to Host AITC
e-Turbo News and Indian Country Today; Dec. 7, 2018

Tribal Tourism Growth in U.S. and Canada Prompts Destinations to Dig Deeper Into the Past; Nov. 26, 2018

Tourism on agenda for BIA Tribal Providers Conference
The Cordova Times; Nov. 20, 2018

Discover Ancient Native America’s Culture
Middle Land; Nov. 19, 2018…

Spirit Song Now Available on BrandUSA TV
ETB Travel News (Australia); Various; Nov. 16, 2018.

AIANTA to Develop Tribal Travel Guide Interpreting the Anza Trail
Native News Online and Indian Country Today; Nov. 16, 2018

Key Moments from World Responsible Tourism Day 2018
e-Turbo News; Nov. 7, 2018

AIANTA to Facilitate the NATIVE Act
Tribal Business Journal (page 18); Nov. 1, 2018

AIANTA Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
NativeKnot.comTripInfo, e-Turbo News, Native News Online; Oct. 31, 2018

Progress Made In Developing Tourism In Indian Country
Wyoming Public Media; Oct. 8, 2018

In the Game
Meetings Today (page 40); October 2018

Guides Believe Tribal Tourism is Answer to Getting the Story Right
Navajo Times; Sept. 27, 2018

Qualla Boundary, Indian Summer Festival Receive AIANTA Honors
Native Business Magazine; Sept. 27, 2018

Qualla Boundary Named Tribal Destination of the Year by AIANTA
Cherokee One Feather; Sept. 25, 2018

Assistant Secretary Sweeney Signs MOU With The Commerce Department And AIANTA, Native A+E,, Native Business Magazine, Native News Online,, e-Turbo News, TravelWireNews, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs; Sept. 20, 2018

Tribal Tourism
Albuquerque Journal; Sept. 18, 2018

From False Advertising to Cultural Exchange: Native Americans, New Mexico, and Route 66
National Trust for Historic Preservation; Aug. 20, 2018

Attention, Travelers: You’re Exploring America Wrong
RealClear Life; August 9, 2018

AIANTA to Celebrate Two Decades of Tourism Growth Across Indian Country
Native Business Magazine; Aug. 1, 2018

Monica Poling Joins AIANTA Staff
Albuquerque Journal, TravelPulse, e-Turbo News, more; Aug. 8, 2018

Native American Travel Association Celebrates 20th Anniversary, TravelPulse, Native News Online, e-Turbo News; July 27, 2018

El Pueblo Motel, home of Navajo Code Talkers, key to Route 66 preservation
Arizona Daily Sun, July 29, 2018

Sitka historical park gets benefit of Native knowledge
National Post; July 14, 2018

Contact Us

As the only national organization dedicated to advancing Indian Country tourism across the United States, AIANTA believes in the power of tribal storytelling through tourism.

For all media inquiries, contact Monica Poling, AIANTA’s Public Relations and Media Manager at 505-724-3578 or


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