Jodi Rave: Tribes tap into tourism industry
"American Indian tourism markets are expected to blossom as international visitors return to the United States after the greatest travel decline in U.S. history.

International travelers - including those from Canada and Mexico - set a record in 2007, with 53.6 million visitors. Overseas travelers are expected to set an all-time record in 2010, with an estimated 26.2 million people boarding ships and airplanes bound for the United States.

The Germans have created their own tourism industry, something they call "Indianerreisen," or Indian tours, which is an expanding niche market that specializes in the exploration of Indian culture. More than 85,000 Germans visited an American Indian community in 2006, according to an Office of Travel and Tourism Industries survey.

"Now is the time to get back into the market and remind the international traveler of the unique opportunity that they can participate in and visit Native American sites while they're in the country," said Ron Erdmann, travel and tourism industries deputy director of research in the U.S. Commerce Department.

"You cannot get this anywhere else in the world. It's time for Native Americans to focus in on that story and get it out there."

American Indians have taken a giant step forward in developing a national and international tourism strategy. The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, or AIANTA, hired its first director in September to oversee tribal tourism operations."

Get the Story:
Tribes renew interest in tourism (The Missoulian 11/29)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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