American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Partners with U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration to Enhance U.S. Global Competitiveness
Historic new memorandum of agreement will help Native American U.S. destinations and firms grow their business through exports and international promotion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (August 2, 2023) – Today, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) announced that the organizations have entered a memorandum of agreement (MOA), based on a mutual interest to advance ITA’s mission to enhance U.S. global competitiveness.
For 25 years, AIANTA has served as the only national organization dedicated to advancing cultural tourism in Native Nations and communities across the United States and was established by tribes for tribes to address inequities in the tourism system. Governed by an all-Native board of directors, AIANTA serves as a united voice for the $14 billion Native hospitality sector with a mission to define, introduce, grow, and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.
ITA strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of trade laws and agreements. The administration works to improve the global business environment and helps U.S. organizations compete at home and abroad.
This historic MOA establishes a partnership to advance ITA’s mission to enhance the international competitiveness of U.S. industry. It will also support activities to facilitate international trade and commerce; educate the public about the economic benefits of trade; enhance awareness of ITA and other U.S. government resources available to U.S. companies and foreign investors; and encourage U.S. businesses interested in exporting, and foreign businesses interested in investing in the U.S., to seek the assistance of ITA.
“Authentic Indigenous experiences and destinations continues to be high on the list of international travelers visiting the U.S.,” said AIANTA CEO Sherry L. Rupert. “This collaborative strategic partnership is the next step in our relationship with the International Trade Administration and will enhance U.S. global competitiveness while Indigenous U.S. destinations and firms grow their business through exports and international promotion.”
“In 2022, 1 million overseas visitors traveled to American Indian Communities, up from 319,000 in 2021,” said Brian Beall, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism. “This formal partnership cements the growing relationship ITA has with AIANTA to support their efforts to grow sustainable tourism and bring visitors to Indian Country. By working together, we can implement the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, supporting the development of diverse tourism products and focusing on underserved communities and populations to create jobs and foster economic growth across the country for years to come.”
AIANTA has delivered on its mission over the last two and a half decades to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values with several key accomplishments, most notably its successful legislative work that led to the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act (NATIVE Act) funding in 2018, as Indian Country Tourism was recognized through federal appropriations via NATIVE Act implementation; and in 2016, as AIANTA was awarded the U.S. President’s “E” Award for organizations contributing significantly to increase U.S. exports.
Tribes who are looking to start or expand their cultural tourism footprint can find resources at www.aianta.org and visitors interested in learning more about Native culture can visit www.nativeamerica.travel. To learn more about the International Trade Administration Travel and Tourism Resources visit https://www.trade.gov/travel-tourism-industry.
Founded in 1998, AIANTA was established by tribes for tribes to address inequities in the tourism system. Governed by an all-Native board of directors, AIANTA serves as a united voice for the $14 billion Native hospitality sector. AIANTA’s priorities are; 1) to provide technical assistance and training, research, and publications to American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities engaged in tourism and hospitality; 2) to facilitate conversations with the Native communities, federal agencies, non-profit associations, and elected officials on the economic and cultural importance of a healthy hospitality industry; 3) to highlight the importance of visiting authentic Native destinations, including cultural, heritage, historic, and artistic sites; and 4) to generate awareness, interest and demand for these destinations with domestic and international travelers, the travel trade and the media. www.aianta.org
For more information and images, contact:
Liz Slobodian on behalf of AIANTA
(904) 237-1285 or Liz@shipwrightcommunications.com