The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) presents the 16th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC) "Introducing America's Native Nations to the World," September 14 - 18, 2014, held at the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, La. The annual AITC provides attendees with an educational forum to help tribes and organizations with travel and tourism initiatives. As tradition, the conference will kick off exploring the culture and history of the host and surrounding tribes through interactive workshops with the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, the Coushatta Tribe, and the Chitimacha Tribe and United Houma Nation. "AIANTA strives to inspire tribes across the nation to take advantage of the vast opportunities for economic development that cultural tourism presents," said Camille Ferguson, AIANTA Executive Director. Attendees will learn more about tribal tourism and business development, best practices, tourism marketing, tribal museums and cultural centers, the international tourism market, protection of tribal intellectual and cultural property, federal resources and programs, and more. With the rise of culinary tourism trends and as a result of its previous success, AIANTA will present a culinary cultural trends session. 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 works of art from renowned Native artists from around the country and special travel and vacation packages. Featured speakers on the 16th Annual AITC Agenda include: Edward H Hall III of Bureau of Indian Affairs; Jim Dion of National Geographic Society; Ron Erdmann of U.S. Department of Commerce, National Travel & Tourism Office; Carolyn McClellan of Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian; Christopher James of U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Native American Affairs; Diane Chalfant of National Park Service; Ernest Stevens III of Native American Tourism of Wisconsin (NATOW), and more. To learn more about the 16th Annual AITC visit http://aianta.org/conference-home.aspx.
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