Welcome to the American Indian Tourism Conference

Rising Together for the Journey Ahead

Now entering its 23rd year, the Annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC) is the only national conference dedicated to growing tourism in America’s indigenous communities.

23rd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference
October 25-28, 2021

We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort
10438 N Fort McDowell Rd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85264
Fort McDowell (Scottsdale), Arizona
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

Every year the conference attracts more than 300 attendees, who attend for the networking opportunities, the high-level keynote sessions and the informative breakout sessions led by some of the leading hospitality industry experts. At our first-ever virtual conference we had 800 registrants.


Why Now is the Time to Reimagine, Re-emerge and Reunite 

Research from the U.S. Travel Association has found attending professional meetings and events has NOT been shown to be a major driver of COVID-19 case counts largely due to the fact that in-person events (exhibitors and attendees) have higher vaccination rates (~80%) than the overall population.

Learn more at Let’s Meet There and view AIANTA’s COVID-19 Mitigation Policy.

AITC Schedule at a Glance

Sunday, October 24

11 a.m.
AIANTA Charity Golf Tournament

Monday, October 25

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Mobile Workshops

1:00  – 5:00 p.m.
Business of Art Workshop

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Opening Reception

Tuesday, October 26

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open

8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Opening Ceremonies/Regalia Day

10:30 a.m. – noon
Break Out Sessions “1”

12:15 – 1:30 p.m.
Luncheon & General Session

2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
AIANTA Town Hall / Information Gathering Session

3:45 – 5 p.m.
AIANTA Regional Meetings

Wednesday, October 27

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open

7 – 8:30 a.m.
Networking Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
General Session

10:30 a.m. – noon
Break Out Sessions “2”

noon – 1:45 p.m.
Luncheon & General Session

2 – 3:15 p.m.
Break Out Sessions “3”

3:45 – 5 p.m.
Break Out Sessions “4”

Thursday, October 28

7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open

7:30 – 8:45 a.m.
Networking Continental Breakfast

8:45 – 10:15 a.m.
Break Out Sessions “5”

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Break Out Sessions “6”

12:15 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Luncheon & General Session

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Break Out Sessions “7”

4 – 5 p.m.
The Heart Speaks (Closing Session)

6 – 7 p.m.
No Host Happy Hour

7 – 10 p.m.
Excellence in Tourism Industry Award

AITC Special Events

News & Notes From AITC

Press Release: U.S. Forest Service/AIANTA NATIVE Act Grant

AIANTA and USDA Forest Service announce Funding Opportunity and RFP to Support the NATIVE ActAIANTA and U.S. Forest Service seek to fund Tribal Nations, Tribal Enterprises and native nonprofits that will enhance and integrate cultural tourism/cultural recreation to...

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Press Release: Mobile Workshops

Experience San Diego Native Culture and History during the American Indian Tourism ConferenceJoin the Rincon Tribe in one of two cultural tourism experiences that explore the Native culture and history of the Greater San Diego area.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Albuquerque,...

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AITC Registration Open

Registration Now Open for 24th Annual American Indian Tourism ConferenceAITC, scheduled for October 24-27 at Harrah’s Resort Southern California is organized by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and will be held on the tribal homelands of the...

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Donate to the AITC Silent Auction 

The AITC Silent Auction raises funding for AIANTA’s Hospitality and Tourism Scholarship Program benefiting Native students pursuing degrees in Tourism and other hospitality-related fields.

Sponsor AITC

Extend your visibility by sponsoring AITC, the only national conference dedicated to travel and tourism in Indian Country. A conference sponsorship will provide you with increased exposure to a diverse group of tribal tourism professionals, while also helping AIANTA augment its conference training programing.

Exhibitors & Artisans

Exhibitor and artisan tables at AITC provide direct access to the 350 tribal tourism and hospitality industry professionals who attend this annual gathering.

About the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort

The 23rd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference will take place at the all-new We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort, which recently unveiled a dazzling renovation. Guests of the hotel, which has received AAA Four Diamond status every year since its opening, can enjoy excellent dining options from an all-star lineup of chefs that have served guests at some of the leading luxury resorts around the world.

The new 166,341 square-foot casino replaces the original McDowell Casino—Arizona’s first casino—which opened as a bingo hall in 1984. Native American design elements—earth, water, fire and basket weaving, all important to the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation—are incorporated throughout the new casino.

AITC attendees are encouraged to stay an extra day before or after the conference to enjoy the resort’s two outdoor pools, a Yavapai-inspired spa treatment at Amethyst Spa & Boutique, championship golfing at the resort’s two highly acclaimed courses and/or a menu of cultural and outdoor activities from Fort McDowell Adventures.

The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is an 889-member Native American tribe that calls Central Arizona’s upper Sonoran Desert home. Located to the northeast of Phoenix within Maricopa County, Arizona, the 40-square mile reservation is a small part of the ancestral territory of the once nomadic Yavapai people, who hunted and gathered food in a vast area of Arizona’s desert lowlands and mountainous Mogollon Rim country.

AITC 2021 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Caesars Entertainment

Arizona Office of Tourism

Arizona Office of Tourism

Acoma Business Enterprises

Bronze Sponsors

Choctaw Country

America 250

Paragon Casino Resort

Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino & Resort

Visit Cherokee Nation

Tribal Team Sponsors

Discover Salt River

Oneida Nation of Wisconsin

Emerging Leader Sponsor

Arizona American Indian Tourism Association

Port Madison Enterprises

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

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