AITC 2018

20th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference

September 17-20, 2018 | Isleta Resort & Casino | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Thank you for joining us at our 20th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC.)

This milestone event themed “20 years of Tribal Tourism Development – Then and Now” was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the stunning, refurbished Isleta Resort and Casino.

Speakers & Sessions

Below are the panels and breakout sessons for our 2018 AITC lineup. Please note, items in red are downloadable versions of the presentations given.

Block 1
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018
10:30 a.m.-noon

How to Understand and Benefit from Domestic and International Tribal Tourism Research and Data

  • Rick Cain, Vice President, Longwoods International USA Inc;
  • Julie Heizer, Deputy Director, National Travel and Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce


Global Good Practice Guidelines for the Travel Industry Working with Indigenous Communities

  • Seleni Matus, Executive Director, International Institute of Tourism Studies, The George Washington University
  • Anna Barrera,Owner, A2B Consulting
  • Mario Fulmer, Visitor Program Manager, Alaska Native Voices and AIANTA Board Member, Alaska Region
  • Lee Vale, Business Development and Operations Manager, Alaska Native Voices


New Market Development: How to Work with Tour/Receptive Operators and Developing Itineraries and Tour Packaging

  • Catherine Prather, Executive Vice President, National Tour Association
  • Donovan Hanley, Owner, DETOURS Native America

Block 2
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018
1:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

Best Practices for RV Parks and Campgrounds

  • Michael Ochs, Director of Governmental Affairs, Recreational Vehicle Association
  • Terry Heslin, State Recreation and Transportation Lead, New Mexico State Office, Bureau of Land Management


Create a Managed Tourism Program

  • Susan Guyette, Ph.D., Santa Fe Planning & Research
  • Theodore (Ted) Jojola, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and Regents’ Professor, Community and Regional Planning Program, School of Architecture + Planning, University of New Mexico


Tribal Tourism and Public Lands: Opportunities and Resources for Collaboration

  • Donald Leadbetter, Tourism Program Manager, National Park Service
  • Reed Robinson, Manager, National Park Service Tribal Liaison Officer (Acting)
  • Angela West, National Program Lead, Tourism & Community Service, Bureau of Land Management
  • Toby Bloom, National Program Manager for Tourism, Travel and Interpretation, U.S. Forest Service
  • Kaisa Barthuli, Program Manager, National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program

Block 3
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018
10:30 a.m.-noon

Building Remote Sustainable Adventure Tourism

  • Kristin Lamoureux, Visiting Professor, Hospitality and Tourism, Virginia Tech University
  • Jon Panamaroff, CEO, Kodiak Brown Bear Center
  • Christina Beckmann, Senior Director, Strategy & Impact, Adventure Travel Trade Association


How to Tell Your Story through Traditional and Non-Traditional Media


Understanding the Profile of International Visitation to Indian Country

  • Chrystal Denys, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Services, American Embassy, London
  • Luisa Salomoni, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Services, U.S. Consulate, Milan

Block 4
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018
2 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

Tourism Development as a Tool for Food Sovereignty

  • Toni Stanger McLaughlin, JD, Director of Tribal Governance, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law
  • Colby Duren, Policy Director and Staff Attorney, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas School of Law
  • Charlie G. Sark, Indigenous Tourism Strategist, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada


Innovative Ways to Attract Visitors and Learn Why and How to Claim Your Webpage on NativeAmerica.Travel

  • Sandra Anderson, IT & Web Development Coordinator, AIANTA
  • Joseph Robertson, PhD, CEO/Data Scientist, Mato Ohitika Analytics LLC


Tourism 101

  • Kristin Lamoureaux, Visiting Professor, Hospitality and Tourism, Virginia Tech University

Block 5
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018
3:45 p.m.-5 p.m.

How to Assess and Manage Risk


Media is the Mediator Between Tourism & Society: Editorial Content vs. Marketing, Promotions & Advertising

  • Bethany Sam, Business Development Manager, Sierra Nevada Media Group/First Nations
  • Brenna Moore, PR & Communications Manager, Visit Albuquerque


Transportation and Tourism – Access is Everything

  • Robert Frazier, Highway Engineer, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Block 6
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018
8:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m..

How to Participate in the Shared Tourism Economy through Airbnb

  • Kristin Lamoureux, Visiting Professor, Hospitality and Tourism, Virginia Tech University
  • Anima Lavoy, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Airbnb, Inc.


Learn the Benefits of Working with Receptive Tour Operators


Laying the Legal Foundation Part 1 – Understanding Contracts on a Sovereign Nation to Sovereign Nation Platform

Block 7
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Laying the Legal Foundation Part 2, Intellectual/Cultural Property Protections


Tourism & Economic Development Planning -Case Studies

  • Rick MacLeod Farley, Development Economist, Farley & Associates
  • Floyd Tortalita, Executive Director, Pueblo of Acoma Housing Authority
  • Ashley Bland, Director, Travois Design


Tourism Planning: Tribal Tourism Funding Opportunities Panel

  • Courtney Spearman, Design Specialist/Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts
  • Kimberly Romine, Deputy Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans
  • Carolyn McClelan, Assistant Director, Programs, Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of the American Indian
  • Trisha Korbas, EDR for NM and West TX, Economic Development Administration
  • Elizabeth Tran, Office of Digital Humanities

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

Native American Agriculture Fund

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Bureau of Land Management

National Endowment of the Arts

National Park Service

United States Forest Service