Camille L. Ferguson leads American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association presented American Indian tourism opportunities for first time at National Tour Association’s National Convention
Published February 3, 2016
ATLANTA – Yesteday, at the annual Travel Exchange, hosted by the National Tour Association (NTA) in Atlanta, Georgia, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Executive Director Camille Ferguson presented at the work session, “Tribal Tourism is Good for the USA!,” the first of its kind at the convention. Ferguson spoke about tourism trends and opportunities in Indian Country.
NTA’s Travel Exchange combines their own convention and the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) conference on one floor to offer travel professionals from around the world a powerful business-building show in the tourism industry.
The convention features business to business meetings between buyers and sellers in the industry, and includes new travel product in all 50 states. Travel Exchange offers practical education, countless networking opportunities, and in the past three years Travel Exchange attendees generated $393 million in business, according to NTA’s website.
New to the convention this year is the topic of tribal tourism and its benefits for the nation.
During this session, Ferguson, representing Indian Country tourism on a national scale, shared the economic impacts and benefits of tourism to Indian Country and focus on the importance of partnerships within the national industry and Native America. Ferguson delved into several of AIANTA’s projects, programs and partnerships being developed to enhance, grow and sustain tribal tourism within the U.S., while also introducing session participants to new initiatives intended to develop tourism within local communities and states.
“With the inclusion of Indian Country tourism at one of the nation’s largest business-to-business conventions, we are making great strides towards increased and more developed partnerships between tribes and the tourism industry at regional and national levels,” said Ferguson “We are thrilled to help more industry leaders realize the shared benefits that tourism in Indian Country can bring, from economic and business development to cultural proliferation,” she continued.
AIANTA and NTA recently announced their memorandum of understanding (MOU) for expanded collaboration opportunities and enriched education and cultural exchange within the tourism industry.
The purpose of the new MOU is to establish a general framework for cooperation and collaboration between AIANTA and NTA to help accelerate both organizations’ goals and initiatives within the industry. Both organizations view tribal tourism, recreation and heritage resources as economic and cultural assets that will increase in value with expanded collaboration between both groups, especially through development of and education about tribal tourism.