AIANTA Releases Two New Educational Cultural Heritage Tourism Planners

The new Cultural Heritage Tourism: a planner for indigenous tourism professionals offers tips and advice and showcases successes in indigenous tourism planning and the Travel Trade Manual, designed to help indigenous tourism professionals navigate the travel trade network.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (October 27, 2021) – The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has released its new educational guidebook, Cultural Heritage Tourism: a planner for indigenous tourism professionals. 

The guidebook was created to serve as an educational tool to inspire indigenous tourism professionals as they create and grow their indigenous tourism enterprises.

“This planner is a celebration of the ingenuity, hard work and perseverance of the tribes, culture bearers, small business owners, artisans, indigenous thought leaders and the many other industry advisors who work collectively to build a better future for their communities through cultural heritage tourism,” said Sherry L. Rupert, AIANTA CEO. “We hope that tourism planners become inspired by others who are forging similar paths.”

Divided into ten chapters, the guidebook highlights everything from historic preservation, uniqueness and authenticity, tours, revenue and fundraising, marketing and more. Each chapter includes interviews with hospitality industry professionals and highlights their challenges and successes in tourism programming.

Each chapter is followed by a series of idea exchanges, so readers can get inspired and plan their own cultural heritage tourism businesses.

The handbook is being released in conjunction with another new educational guide, the Travel Trade Manual, which was developed to help tribes navigate how to work with the travel trade.

“Whether you have worked with the travel trade for years or are just beginning your journey, this guide is designed as a learning tool for all Native businesses looking to increase visitor traffic,” said Sherry L. Rupert, AIANTA CEO. “We hope readers will be inspired by other Native businesses who have developed their own successful tour programs that respectfully highlight their culture and heritage.”

This manual is split into three main sections, an introduction of the travel trade, who they are and what they do, two feature stories and a robust section of idea exchanges including itinerary building, packaging and marketing. The manual also features an interview with international travel company Destination America, who provide tips and best practices for indigenous businesses looking to partner with tour operators and wholesalers. Additionally, an interview with the U.S Commercial Service (an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce), offers more advice on promoting tourism in international markets.

Both planners will make their official debut at the 23rd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference.


For nearly two decades, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has served as the national center for providing tourism and recreational travel technical assistance, training and capacity building to American Indian nations. AIANTA is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association of Native American tribes and tribal businesses and was incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism. AIANTA’s mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.

For more information and images, contact:
Monica Poling
Marketing & PR Manager