Five reasons to attend the 2020 American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC)

Tourism marketers already know the travel and tourism industry is an economic powerhouse. In 2019, the industry generated more than $1.87 trillion in economic impact and supported some 9.2 million American jobs. In its entirety, the industry—the nation’s seventh-largest private sector employer and the largest small-business employer—accounted for nearly 2.8 percent of the entire U.S. GDP.

Tourism generates billions of dollars for tribes and Native-owned business and provides critical dollars across all sectors, not just casino and tourism operations. The revenues from tourism support tribal healthcare, public safety, education, senior care, cultural programming, food sovereignty and so much more. 

But competition for visitors is fierce as marketers around the world look to reinvigorate their own economies.

The 22nd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC), the only national conference in the U.S. dedicated to tourism in Indian Country, will provide tribal tourism marketers with the targeted content they need to reinvigorate economies, while also helping them communicate the importance of tourism to tribal leadership as well as local, regional and federal politicians. 

Need more reasons to attend? 

Powerhouse Keynote Speakers

AIANTA is honored to feature a Keynote Speaker lineup that includes some of the top Native American women leaders in the country. Speaking on topics ranging from the NATIVE Act to Crisis Management, daily AITC keynote presentations feature such illustrious speakers as U.S. Representative Deb Haaland; Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan; President of the National Congress of American Indians Fawn Sharp; Walker River Paiute Tribe Chairwoman Amber Torres; Lead Cultural Trainer for the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, Hi’ilani Shibata and AIANTA CEO, Sherry L. Rupert.

It’s FREE This Year

This is one of those times where something free is loaded with value. AIANTA is waiving all registration fees for the 22nd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference. Additionally, because our exhibitor fees include one conference registration, all exhibitor packages have been reduced by fifty percent. We are excited to be utilizing Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience (NATIVE) Act funding to underwrite this one-time offer. Imagine, one-of-a-kind keynote speeches, more than 50 experts speaking in 25+ educational sessions, and lots of networking opportunities. All at no cost. What are you waiting for? 

Big-Name Educational Session Presenters

Year after year, some of the biggest and brightest speakers in the tribal tourism industry are featured at AITC. This year is no different and presenters and topics include 

  • Janie Simms Hipp, CEO, Native American Agriculture Fund; Blending Agriculture and Tourism.
  • Gail Chehak, Membership & Outreach Coordinator, AIANTA; The Basics of Grant Writing
  • Chef Crystal Wahpepah, the first indigenous chef featured on the Chopped TV show; Culinary Tourism
  • Johnpaul Jones, visionary behind such projects as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (Washington D.C.); Tribal Tourism Development through Native Design: How Indigenous Architectural Design Invites and Engages Visitors

Post-COVID 19 Strategic Planning

As national, regional, local and tribal budgets are stretched nearly to the breaking point, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how can travel and tourism professionals secure the funding they need to continue to promote their destinations? Despite tight budgets and limited resources, tourism marketers who attend AITC will find tips and tools on how to stay connected with their key audiences to keep them informed on what opportunities are and aren’t available to them.

AIANTA Wants to See and Hear From You 

If the challenges of cross-country travel are a concern, fear not. We have made this year’s conference fully virtual. You will still have the chance to ask questions, share information and visit with colleagues during our virtual networking events, including the daily Networking Break and Zoom Happy Hour. With content specifically targeted to the challenges faced by tribal tourism marketers, this truly is a conference not to be missed for anyone interested in growing or revitalizing their tribal tourism businesses.

The 22nd Annual American Indian Tourism Conference
hosted by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA)
September 14-18, 2020

Click here to register now 

12 years of Native News

This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.