February – March 2020
(I’m going to travel over there)
Ha muh (How are you?)
Spring has always been my favorite time of year. It is a time when I think about family and plan for visits and family gatherings in the coming year. However, this spring is different. The Coronavirus has severely distressed the travel and tourism industry.
The Coronavirus is a fast-moving issue, with information coming out every day. Reactions have varied. Some tribes, like the Oglala Sioux Tribe, have discouraged tourists and religious workers from outside of the reservation traveling there for the time being. The Gathering of Nations, with its economic impact of $20 million to New Mexico, has been postponed. Many Tribes are concerned their health care systems will not be able to answer the demands of this outbreak.
To keep up with the story, here are some other resources you may want to read:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control Steps to Prevent Illness
To keep up on the tourism industry responses, follow these organizations’ responses:
U.S. Travel Association
Professional Convention Management Association
Although this is a serious issue with new developments for personal and professional considerations and ramifications, a good reminder comes from several experienced travel experts who remind us the travel industry is resilient. We’ve faced impacts to the industry before and have recovered. As we navigate response and assess impact, it is important to look to the future for travel and your cultural tourism programming and product. We can use this time to prepare for the pent up demand for travel once the outbreak ramps down and global travel resumes. AIANTA will continue to address the current concerns while looking towards a longer-term vision for AIANTA and the mission we serve, “to define, introduce, grow and sustain” cultural tourism in Indian Country.
It’s never goodbye, but I’ll see you later. Boneedwa.
Sherry L. Rupert, Chief Executive Officer
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association