Go International

The Changing Face of Packaged Travel

Once upon a time, group travel meant packing 40 people in a motor coach and setting the group off on a 20-day program to visit 15 destinations or more. The nature of group travel has changed dramatically over the past three to four decades, however, as travelers are increasingly shifting their travel goals to incorporate substance over volume.

Despite the shift in buying trends group travel is booming. Tour operators of all sizes are noting the change in consumer demand, and are shifting their business models to emphasize local and indigenous visitor destinations in their itineraries. Which is good news for Indian Country destinations looking to attract more group business. Native American visitor destinations not incorporating packaged travel in their business plans risk missing a lucrative customer segment.

Why Attend Go International?

Designed to help tribal tourism businesses keep up with the rapid shifts in the packaged travel landscape, Go International features expert speakers and hands-on presentations that will guide tribal enterprises and businesses in conceptualizing and developing their tourism product(s) and promoting them to tour operators, wholesalers and domestic and international group travelers.

Go International

April 21-22, 2021  ♦  Online


April 21, 2021

11 – 11:15 a.m.
Welcome & Introduction

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Understanding the Travel Trade Distribution System
Catherine Prather, CTP, President, National Tour Association

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Understanding the Travel Trade Distribution System
Tribal tourism businesses relying strictly upon direct-to-consumer sales may be missing out on larger opportunities available to them when working with the travel trade. This global network of businesses—comprised of travel agents, internet providers, tour operators and international wholesalers, to name a few—can provide access to a larger potential audience as well as increased awareness for your tourism product. While the lines are blurring between travel company types, each plays a specific role in the selling of travel. In this opening session, National Tour Association President Catherine Prather discusses how the international supply chain works, how these travel companies buy their products and how they work with their customer base to offer them the travel experiences they are looking for.

Catherine Prather, CTP, President, National Tour Association
Catherine joined the National Tour Association team in 1994 and currently serves as president, the chief staff role. She focuses on strategic continuity, member engagement and professional development to ensure NTA’s long-term growth and viability.

On a daily basis, Catherine draws connections and seeks collaboration among the association’s staff experts, NTA members and industry counterparts. She also guides the team to strengthen engagement and business connections among the NTA community.

Catherine has been appointed to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which serves as an advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that affect the U.S. travel and tourism industry and offers counsel on current and emerging issues. She also actively supports Tourism Cares, NTA’s official philanthropy, and sits on the Tourism Cares Board of Directors. Other leadership roles include the Retailing and Tourism Management Advisory Board for the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

A native of Georgetown, Kentucky, Catherine has earned NTA’s Certified Tour Professional designation and is a graduate of Transylvania University with a bachelor’s degree in English.

12:20 – 1:20 p.m.
Exploring the Visitor Experience–What Are You Offering Visitors?
Dr. Kathleen Andereck, School of Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University

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Exploring the Visitor Experience – What are you offering visitors?
Travelers are looking for a variety of memorable experiences when they visit destinations, communities and sites. What visitors are interested in has changed over the past several years with a greater emphasis on unique and authentic experiences. This includes traveling to out-of-the-way places and exploring more sustainable options.

Many of these newly sought-after experiences involve culture- and nature-based tourism. Visitors want to experience what is “real” and want to feel that they have spent their leisure time in a meaningful way.

During this session,  Professor Kathleen Andereck will discuss the changing nature of visitor motivation and expectations, what “authenticity” means and how to develop desirable and sustainable tourism experiences in your destinations. Participants will have the opportunity to share their own thoughts about authenticity and show successful tourism experiences in their own communities.

Dr. Kathleen Andereck, Professor/Vice Dean, School of Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University

Dr. Kathleen Andereck is the director and vice dean of the Hainan University-Arizona State University International Tourism College and a Professor in the School of Community Resources and Development at ASU. Dr. Andereck is also a Senior Sustainability Scientist with the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability. Her research and teaching focuses on the tourism experience from the perspective of both visitors and residents particularly as it applies to sustainable community tourism development. Some of her specific areas of interest include tourism and quality of life, residents’ attitudes toward tourism, volunteer tourism, and visitors in outdoor recreation settings. She has conducted recreation and tourism research work with a diversity of organizations and agencies at the federal and state levels. She has conducted many presentations at national and international conferences. Dr. Andereck is a Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, and has been a Fulbright Specialist in Iceland.

1:20 – 1:50 p.m.

1:50 – 2:50 p.m.
What is Your Itinerary: Pricing Your Product
Camille Ferguson, Economic Development Director, Sitka Tribe of Alaska

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What is Your Itinerary: Pricing Your Product
Pricing a travel itinerary is no simple matter. Setting your rates too high may cause travelers to seek other options, but setting your rates too low is a quick path to failure, especially for vendors looking to work with travel suppliers who will require discounts and/or wholesale rates. In this session, Camille Ferguson, Economic Development Director of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska,  shares tips on creating the perfect itinerary, from including the travel components that best match your target audience, to competitively pricing those components for economic success.

Camille Ferguson, Economic Development Director, Sitka Tribe of Alaska

Camille L. Ferguson is the Economic Development Director for the Sitka Tribe of Alaska where she is responsible for developing new projects as well as overseeing the Tribes’ tourism program, gaming operations, the Tribal tannery and the Community House Convention Facility.

Previously, she served as Executive Director of AIANTA for more than six years. Under her direction, AIANTA expanded its international marketing and outreach program and also grew its training programs; improved its public outreach program, broadened its public lands partnership program and was instrumental in gaining support for the passage of the NATIVE Act along with the advocacy needed to support the appropriation to implement the unfunded mandate. Her work as executive director for AIANTA was completed with the signing of the MOU with the Department of Interior and securing a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

2:55 –  3:55 p.m.
Negotiating the Authentic Indigenous Experience
Diana Ditto, Senior Director of Brand Experience, Collette

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Negotiating the Authentic Indigenous Experience
Increasingly, travelers are seeking authentic indigenous experiences. Yet, with the preponderance of culturally mis-represented media images, travelers may not always fully understand what experiences are truly authentic. This cultural confusion may lead to difficulties when negotiating contracts with travel suppliers, who may be conflicted between delivering what customers want versus purchasing what indigenous communities are able to offer. Diana Ditto, Senior Director of Brand Experience for Collette (the nation’s largest family-owned tour operator) offers tips on how to best work with travel suppliers when negotiating an authentic travel experience.

Diana Ditto, Senior Director of Brand Experience, Collette

Diana Ditto is the Senior Director of Brand Experience at Collette, overseeing the strategy, positioning and storytelling of the Collette brand. She began her career with Collette in 2013 managing product development for the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe which under her direction grew to be the most-sought after destination for Collette. Prior to Collette, she worked for Travel Dynamics International, as well as Robin Tauck & Partners where she used her expertise in tourism marketing and cultural heritage preservation to aid in the development of integrated marketing strategies for emerging tourism destinations. Diana holds a Master’s Degree in Tourism and Travel Management from New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Fairfield University.

Diana has visited nearly 50 countries around the world. Her dream destination is a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway, with a stopover in Mongolia. She loves cooking and is determined to use travel and tourism as a force for change in the world. She volunteers for the Collette garden where all produce is donated to a local soup kitchen, serves on the corporate social responsibility advisory board at Collette, as well as on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Pawtucket.

3:55 – 4:10 p.m.
Wrap Up

April 22, 2021

11 – 11:05 a.m..
Welcome Back & Intro

11: 05 – 11:40 a.m.
Working With the Travel Media
Kenneth Shapiro, Vice President, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

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Working With the Travel Media
A timely story about your visitor experience can boost awareness of your destination, leading to increased revenue and employment opportunities for your tribal community. But great stories don’t just happen. A solid media relations plan includes a carefully crafted strategy of list-building, website updates, social media posting, keeping abreast of media trends and topics and crafting detailed but brief press releases and media alerts. In this session, Vice President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Kenneth Shapiro of TravelAge West, which has been providing comprehensive travel information to Western travelers for more than a half century, provides an overview of the travel trade media landscape and what tribes should be doing to craft a successful PR strategy.

Kenneth Shapiro, Vice President, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, TravelAge West
As Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Ken Shapiro has overseen the growth of TravelAge West, the number-one travel trade brand in the Western U.S. He also launched Family Getaways, covering family and multigenerational travel, and Explorer, focused on adventure travel. Under his guidance, all three titles have received numerous editorial, design and online awards. TravelAge West also hosts the WAVE Awards for travel suppliers; the Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, for the next generation of travel advisors; and Global Travel Marketplace (GTM) West, the top face-to-face marketplace event for advisors. Shapiro is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and has won writing awards from SATW and the North American Travel Journalists Association, among others. He is also President of the Board of Directors of the Family Travel Association. He lives with his wife and their two children in Los Angeles.

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
How to Package Your Itinerary–Step-by-Step Case Study
Richard Launder, President & CEO / Anand Vieira Nachtajler, Travel Experiences Developer, Destination America (DA)

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How to Package Your Itinerary—Step-by-Step Case Study
Join Richard Launder, President and CEO, and Anand Nachtajler, Travel Experience Designer of Destination America (DA) in learning how to work with domestic and international tour operators—and understand what works and what doesn’t—in order to develop and deliver successful experiences for the long term. This will be a very practical session for Native communities/business owners who seek to strengthen their tour industry partnerships.

Richard Launder, President & CEO, Destination American (DA)

Richard Launder is President and CEO of Destination America (DA), which is one of 40 travel companies within The Travel Corporation (TTC), which is one of the largest privately owned travel companies in the world. Richard has worked within TTC since 1983 when he joined as a very young bartender and later as a Travel Director. In more recent times he was President of Contiki Vacations in the USA for 12 years (1992-2003), President of Destination America for 4 years (1999-2003) and President of TTC USA for 14 years (2005-2018) prior to retaking his  role at DA in mid-2018.  Originally from New Zealand Richard has lived in California since 1988. He has also served USTOA as a board member and active participant for variously for over 30 years.

Anand Vieira Nachtajler, Travel Experiences Developer, Destination America

Originally from a small fishing village on the coast of Brazil. Anand Nachtajler moved to Northern California 20 years ago. He studied Anthropology at the California State University Sacramento, where he gained a deeper appreciation for culture, language and archaeology. He has now been involved in the tourism industry for 10 years, working as a Travel Director for several different companies before joining Destination America in 2013. He ran trips in California, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Colorado for Trafalgar and Insight Vacations, before joining the Travel Experiences Development at Destination America in 2019. He now manages DA’s Latin American programs as well as some of their US trips through the Southwest region.


12:45 – 1:15 p.m.

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Breakout Session: Build Your Itinerary (Hands On)
Maureen Chavez, Visitor Outreach Manager, AIANTA 
Monica Poling, Marketing & PR Manager, AIANTA

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Breakout Session: Build Your Itinerary (Hands On)
After two days of intensive training from AIANTA’s industry partners, Go International attendees will now break into mini groups to spend some time collaborating with colleagues and building perfect travel itineraries. Use all you’ve learned to combine hotel stays, dining experiences and attractions into a package that’s ready to sell. You’ll have about 45 minutes to craft a three-day itinerary before you present it to our industry partners for their expertise feedback.

Maureen Chavez, Visitor Outreach Manager, AIANTA
Maureen is a member of the Acoma Pueblo. She has spent most of her 10+ year career in tourism, hospitality and destination sales.  Maureen has worked with group tours and meeting planners (both national and international) as a representative for the city and partners of Visit Albuquerque. During her tenure, she worked to assist small groups in locating properties around the city of Albuquerque to host meetings, as well as, participate in familiarization tours and site visits. She also worked with group tours to assist with the creation of itineraries, locating accommodations and ensuring all groups were prepared for their visit to the area. 

Monica Poling, PR & Media ManagerMonica Poling, Marketing & Public Relations Manager, AIANTA
After having spent more than a decade as a journalist with one of the leading travel trade news websites, Monica Poling turned in her daily byline in order to manage AIANTA’s marketing, public relations and content development efforts. In her role as Marketing & Public Relations Manager for AIANTA, she works to bring awareness of Indian Country tourism.

2:20 – 4:20 p.m.
Presenting Your Itinerary
Richard Launder, President & CEO / 
Anand Vieira Nachtajler, Travel Experiences Developer, Destination America (DA)
Diana Ditto, Senior Director of Brand Experience, Collette

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Presenting Your Itinerary
A well-thought out, carefully priced itinerary that includes authentic and unique visitor experiences is the key to success when working with the travel industry, from travel agents, tour operators, international wholesalers and, most importantly, the traveling public. After building their own proposed travel itineraries, Go International participants will have the opportunity to present these itineraries to some of the industry’s leading travel product designers, including Richard Launder, CEO and Anand Nachtajler, Travel Experience Designer of Destination America (DA), and Diana Ditto, Senior Director of Brand Experience for Collette.

4:20 – 4:30 p.m.
Go International Closing

More Information

For more information, contact Sherrie Bowman at sbowman@aianta.org or 505.209.2479.


A Warm Thank You to Our Partners

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Native American Agriculture Fund

Bureau of Land Management

National Park Service

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail


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