Excellence in Tourism Industry Awards Nominations

Anyone in the tourism/hospitality industry may make a nomination for the Excellence in Tourism industry Awards, but the nominee must be an AIANTA member in good standing to be considered for an award. If the nominee is a non-member, the nominating organization may sponsor the membership of the nominee.

Excellence in Tourism Categories

Tribal Destination of the Year

Nominees must be destinations; (including cultural/interpretive centers, museums or historical villages.)

  • They must demonstrate a measurable economic impact (i.e. attendance numbers) on the local, regional or state level; data should be included in the application to highlight successful marketing results.
  • Nominees must encompass the following: excellent customer service, visitor-friendly destination, authentic cultural heritage experience(s), amenities for visitors, recreation/activities and active marketing efforts and collaboration.
  • Must demonstrate cultural heritage programming throughout the visitor season, through lectures, exhibitions, performances, etc.
  • Must have interpretive exhibits or signage that educate visitors about the tribe and its cultural heritage.
  • Must enhance the visitor experience to the area and/or be incorporated as part of local tourism marketing program, promotion or itinerary.
  • Must demonstrate commitment to authenticity, preservation and sustaining the cultural heritage of the tribe or tribes, including a statement in its mission statement, strategic plan or similar.


Best Cultural Heritage Experience

Nominee must provide a cultural heritage experience; they can be an annual festival or event (one-time events are excluded).

  • Must demonstrate authentic arts, crafts, food, dance, performance, demonstrations, that are representative of tribe or tribes; application forms and other contracts must require tribal arts & crafts standards, etc.
  • Must enhance the visitor experience to the area and/or be incorporated as part of local tourism marketing program, promotion or itinerary.
  • Must demonstrate feedback/reviews from the public for the event, i.e. surveys, online ratings, etc.

OR, nominees can be an individual or group performance or demonstration.

  • Must be an enrolled tribal member of a federally or state recognized tribe, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian with proof of identification.
  • Must demonstrate an authentic performance, dance, art, traditional storytelling, song or interpretation.
  • Must be recognized by peers, arts organizations or booking entities as a professional, i.e. resume, biography and/or awards received.
Excellence in Customer Service

Nominees can be a business or organization with a commitment to creating and providing a culture of service.

  • Must demonstrate customer service throughout its business practices, i.e. customer service statement and policy. Must provide customer service training on a continuous basis.
  • Must recognize employees for excellent customer service, i.e. bonus, award, etc.
  • Must demonstrate a strong, charitable commitment to the community in which it operate through collaborative efforts, i.e. letters or memoranda of understanding.

OR, nominee can be an individual or tribal member who has provided consistent, excellent customer service during their tenure of employment.

  • Must be recognized by their customer in going “above and beyond” their duties to assist them. (Such as reviews on Trip Advisor, Travelocity, Yelp, etc.) Must have been recognized by their employer for their service, i.e. Employee of the Month.
Industry Professional

Nominee may be an active professional or volunteer devoted to sustainable tribal tourism development.

  • Nominee may be any partner or volunteer that demonstrated continual assistance to AIANTA and/or individual tribes to accomplish tourism projects that benefit Indian Country.
  • Nominee must demonstrate that he/she has made a significant impact in tribal tourism and helped AIANTA achieve its mission. In addition, the nominee must have contributed new ideas and networks to help accomplish AIANTA’s goals.
  • Nominee may be a Tribal Leader, Public Sector, or Private Sector Advocate; an Industry Partner, Native Arts Ambassador, Tribal Tourism Professional, or a friend.

Excellence in Tourism Nomination Form

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