ALBUQUERQUE—The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association proudly presents the 15th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference “Tourism: The Economic Engine for Indian Country” hosted by the Cherokee Nation at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Okla., Sept. 22-26.
The annual AITC strives to provide attendees with a quality educational forum to help you with your travel and tourism initiatives. As tradition, the conference kicks off with interactive mobile workshops – this year to the Chickasaw Cultural Center and on the Cherokee Nation History Tour.
“AIANTA has built many outstanding relationships in every circle of national influence, and we are using that access to generate new opportunities for tribes in tourism,” said Camille Ferguson, AIANTA executive director. “We hope that the caliber of partnerships, speakers and projects our 15th Annual AITC has to offer attendees will inspire Indian Country to grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism.”
Whether your tribe or tribal organization is just entering the tourism [auth] arena and its operations, or your tribe has an experienced tourism department — AITC features something for everyone, Ferguson said.
In this year’s sessions, attendees will learn more about tour packaging, attracting tour operators, creating itineraries, positioning your tribe for the international tour market, tourism assessment and inventory development, new technologies and strategies for marketing and media, protecting intellectual and cultural property, working with state and federal agencies, safety in hospitality, geo-tourism, how to work with the Smithsonian, and more.
New this year, AIANTA is excited to launch cultural fashion trends and culinary cultural trends sessions.
Award-winning recording artist Martha Redbone will be the featured entertainment for AIANTA’s Enough Good People Silent Auction and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 7-10 p.m. The event gives an opportunity to recognize the “best of” the tribal hospitality and tourism industry, accompanied by dinner, entertainment and a silent auction, featuring extraordinary items, which include overnight stays at tribal destinations throughout Indian Country.
Featured speakers on the agenda include:
• Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Mayor of Tulsa
• Senator Harry Coates, State of Oklahoma
• Congressman Markwayne Mullin, Second District of Oklahoma
• Amir Eylon, Brand USA
• Ron Erdmann, International Trade Administration, Office of Travel & Tourism Industries
• Sandra Necessary, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service
• Kristin Lamoureux, George Washington University
• Jim Dion, Maps Division, National Geographic Society
• Roger Saterstrom, Tauck World Discovery
• Jennifer Tombaugh, Tauck World Discovery
• Carolyn McClellan, Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian
• Danny Marti, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
• David Vela, National Park Service
• Julia Washburn, Na-tional Park Service
• Janeé Doxtator, Doxtator Marketing and Communications
• Chief Baker,
• Marta Kelly, National Park Service
• Joe Watkins, National Park Service
• Don McClellan, McGill’s on 19, Cherokee Nation Entertainment
• Travis Suazo, Pueblo Harvest Café, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
• Paige Williams, Chickasaw Nation
• Travis Owens, Cherokee Nation Entertainment
• George Tiger, Muscogee Creek Nation
• Margaret Roach Wheeler, Mahota Handwovens
• Melody McCoy, Native American Rights Fund
• Bill Hardman, Southeast Tourism Society
• Jack Baker, Trail of Tears Association
• Trevor Ware, Caddo Nation of Oklahoma
• Gordon Yellowman, Southern Cheyenne
• W. Otis Halfmoon, National Trails Intermountain Region National Park Service
• Carly Hare, Native Americans in Philanthropy
• Jeremy Nowak, ArtPlace America
• Anna Barrera, NativeTourism
• Matt Grayson, Receptive Services Association of America
• Shawn Termin, Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian
• Duane Blue Spruce, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
• Gail Adams, U.S. De-partment of the Interior Office of Internal and External Affairs
• Charlie Galbraith, As-sociate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, The White House
• Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn
• Kevin Gover, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
To learn more about the 15th Annual AITC visit AIANTA.org/AITC2013.