The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) expanded its presence this year, during its seventh consecutive year representing Indian country at ITB, Berlin – the world’s leading travel tradeshow, March 4-9.
With additional educational outreach in Berlin and contribution to the Taste of America -- a Brand USA event that showcases the foods of the United States -– along with hosting six tribal entities from around the country, AIANTA had a stronger and broader presence at ITB than ever before.
While in Berlin, representatives from Hawaii, the Chickasaw Nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Monument Valley, and AIANTA visited the Johanna-Eck- School in Berlin-Tempelhof to share with and educate international students about American Indian culture. The delegates spoke to 90 ninth and tenth grade students as a part of the MEET US program of the American Embassy in Germany.
In addition to this high school outreach, AIANTA Executive Director Camille Ferguson gave a keynote presentation at the Berlin Economic Forum 2015, hosted by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (IDC), with a focus on innovative branding, creative economies, sustainable tourism and responsible foreign investments.
“This type of educational and international outreach is so important to AIANTA in our goal to share American Indian culture with the world,” Ferguson said in a news release. “It is crucial that we share our own stories with these international markets to encourage further education and exploration of Native America.”
At ITB, AIANTA hosted the Taste of America event at their pavilion, showcasing foods from around the United States, including a sampling of fry bread with local jams and butters from Hawaii.
AIANTA also hosted weekend performances, where participants showcased their regalia and individual dance moves to the beat of a Navajo song and drum.
Germany continues to be a top market for tourism to the United States, and to American Indian and cultural destinations. It is important that Indian country remains a strong presence in the consistently growing market.
Joining AIANTA at ITB, Berlin 2015:
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA): A public agency with a high degree of autonomy, OHA is responsible for improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians.The organization encourages Native Hawaiian tourism, including to sites such as Iolani Palace, one of the most opulent, innovative and intriguing places in the Pacific. Located in downtown Honolulu, this official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy has been spectacularly restored.
Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association: Representing artists, cultural practitioners, hotels, and distinctly Hawaiian attractions, NAHHA promotes Hawaiian values through all elements of the visitor experience from hospitality staff training to encouraging students to consider careers in the tourism industry.
The Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma: Offers significant historical and modern attractions for visitors. The Chickasaw Cultural Center is the largest tribal cultural center in the United States and offers demonstrations, exhibits and an amphitheater for singing and stargazing. Chickasaw art, artifacts and archives draw visitors to the Chickasaw Council House Museum.
Monument Valley Simpson's Trailhandler Tours: Tours feature Navajo people who know every crease, crater and canyon in their enchanting homeland. Trips for photographers and adventurers are offered in a land of petroglyphs, pictographs, ancient dwellings and magical landscapes in a full spectrum of colors.
We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center: The Arizona property features 246 contemporary guestrooms and suites, a restaurant offering bold Southwestern cuisine, a full-service spa and salon, and a heated outdoor pool with two whirlpools. Nearby are the award-winning golf courses at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, gaming and entertainment at Fort McDowell Casino, and desert activities at Fort McDowell Adventures.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation: The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Travel Plaza, in the capital city of Muscogee Nation, Okmulgee, offers a gaming area, hot food and fuel for motorists. Also featured at Muscogee (Creek) Nation is the Okmvlke (Okmulgee) Country Club and Golf Course, the oldest country club in Oklahoma. The club also offers fine dining in a casual setting at the Stone Blade Restaurant.
Sitka Tribe of Alaska: Rachel Moreno, AIANTA board vice president, from the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, attended the show on behalf of AIANTA. With Tribal Tours of Sitka, history is a living thread from the past to the present. Tlingit Indians have lived continuously in Sitka since the end of the last Ice Age -- an unbroken course of civilization that stretches the very definition of "history." Seen through the eyes of the Tlingit, Sitka's history is a steady drumbeat, a rhythm, a song ten-thousand years old.