ALBUQUERQUE – In light of Native American Heritage Month, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) continues to stress the importance of cultural heritage tourism as an economic development vehicle to perpetuate Native American Heritage year-round for generations to come.
“Native American Heritage Month is an opportunity to educate national and international travelers on the importance of AIANTA and our mission to ‘define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors and sustains tribal traditions and values,’” said AIANTA President Mary Jane Ferguson, member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, initiatives such as tourism education, international and domestic marketing, partnerships with federal agencies, academia and nonprofit organizations, research and data and private sector partnerships, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association has set the mark for the advancement of cultural heritage tourism and economic development through tourism across Indian country.
The purpose of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association is to provide our constituents with the voice and tools needed to advance tourism while helping tribes, tribal organizations and tribal members create infrastructure and capacity through technical assistance, training and educational resources. AIANTA serves as the liaison among Indian Country, governmental, educational and private entities for the development, growth, and sustenance of Indian Country tourism. By developing and implementing programs and facilitating economic development opportunities, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association helps tribes build for their future while sustaining and strengthening their cultural legacy.