Albuquerque, New Mexico (November 10, 2014) –The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is introducing authentic Indian Country tourism to the Chinese travel market for the first time at the China International Travel Mart (CITM), November 14-16, 2014.
AIANTA will be representing Indian Country tourism as a part of Brand USA’s U.S. pavilion at the show in Shanghai. Camille Ferguson, AIANTA Executive Director and Aimee Awonohopay AIANTA Board Secretary will be attending with the purpose of seeking out information on the travel and tourism market in China for Indian Country.
“Through data collected at venues such as International Pow Wow and studies by the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, we can see that China’s interest in Indian Country is growing quickly,” said Ferguson. “Indian Country has an abundance of cultural tourism to offer the world and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to help this market discover Native America. AIANTA’s goal is to provide tribes with the tools they need to establish their cultural tourism programs so that they’re ready for the international market,” Ferguson said.
AIANTA’s attendance at China’s largest travel and tourism trade show will be considered exploratory and fact finding for possible future trade venues that may be offered for training tribes in getting involved in the Chinese market.
“It is important that Tribes and Tribal destinations are ready and able to handle travelers from this growing market,” said Awonohopay. “We are excited to attend this show and gauge the market’s real interest in Indian Country, and to be able to bring back useful information for tribes in the industry.”
AIANTA will be showcasing tribal tourism by providing American Indian tour programs to the Chinese tour operators interested in visiting Native America.
China has proven to be a crucial market in international travel to the United States. Nearly 1.5 million Chinese visitors traveled to the U.S. in 2012, and more than 10% (or nearly 160,000) of those individuals visited Indian Country. Interest in cultural tourism has continued to grow significantly since then, and AIANTA is traveling to China to raise awareness of Native American destinations, while also researching the market to provide technical and educational resources to tribes and tribal organizations.
Last year’s CITM attracted industry representatives from more than 100 countries and regions. This year, AIANTA’s representatives will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with travel agents from around China and Chinese and U.S. partners, as well as participate in media interviews during the event, ensuring maximum exposure of Indian Country destinations to this key market.