- By American Indian Tourism Conference
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
While you're here...
We launched Native News Online with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Typically, readers donate $20, but any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.