The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), represented Indian Country tourism as part of the BIA booth on Federal Row at the U.S. Travel Association’s 45th Annual IPW (formerly International Pow Wow) in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 8 – 12, 2013.
AIANTA conducted more than 40 business meetings during the three-day event with journalists, tour operators and consultants from across the globe, with strong Indian Country interest from the U.S., France and Germany. Ambassadors from the embassies of Canada, France and Japan also came to the AIANTA booth to learn more on what American Indians are doing within the tourism industry.
“All participants at the AIANTA meetings were looking for something new and different,” said AIANTA Executive Director Camille Ferguson. “Indian Country has an abundance of cultural tourism to offer the world and it’s exciting to see that so many countries want to discover Native America. AIANTA’s mission is to give tribes the tools they need to establish their cultural tourism programs so that they’re ready for these travelers,” Ferguson said.
AIANTA’s booth was full of displays showcasing the projects that AIANTA has accomplished to assist in the development of cultural tourism in Indian Country, national parks, scenic byways and on federal lands. Also representing Indian Country at IPW were AIANTA members Chickasaw Nation Tourism, Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin and Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise.
IPW hit record-setting attendance, with nearly 6,400 total delegates from the U.S. and 70 other countries, including 1,300 international and domestic buyers and nearly 500 media.