21st American Indian Tourism Conference Underway at Cherokee Nation’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa

Hundreds from Indian Country are meeting to learn how to grow American Indian Alaska Native tourism. Native News Online photos by Levi Rickert

Published September 17, 2019

TULSA, Okla. — The 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference is returning to Oklahoma Sept. 16-19 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The conference is organized by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) and is the only national conference in the U.S. dedicated to travel and tourism in and for Indian Country.

“The American Indian Tourism Conference plays an essential role in growing and sustaining tribal tourism nationwide,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “In addition to creating important economic impacts in our communities, we are able to share our thriving cultures and stories with visitors from around the world. The Cherokee Nation is proud to host the annual gathering and reaffirm our longstanding partnership with AIANTA.”

Stomp dancers at opening reception at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on Monday evening.

The annual conference connects tribal leaders and tourism enterprises with tourism and hospitality professionals and fosters networking opportunities for attendees. Programming includes informative, enterprise-level breakout sessions, a local artisan fair, unique mobile workshops and more.

“We’re excited to return to Tulsa for our 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference,” said Sherry L. Rupert, executive director of AIANTA. “Not only are we looking forward to exploring all of Cherokee Nation’s new cultural heritage developments, including the recently opened Cherokee National History Museum, we are also eager to learn from all tribes in attendance about their own tourism endeavors.”

This year’s conference will introduce the first tribal tourism information gathering session, which will provide a forum for interested stakeholders to provide input on the status of their cultural heritage tourism objectives and what more is needed to ensure the success of those objectives. The session, also held on Tuesday, Sept. 17, is open to the general public and not limited to conference attendees.

For more information about the 21st annual AITC, please visit www.aianta.org/aitc.

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