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News Release

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation was recently named as the 2020 Tribal Destination of the Year by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association.

Cherokee Nation received the honor for its dedication to sharing the rich history and culture of Cherokee people through its various historic sites and attractions, which includes six cultural museums, two welcome centers and various retail locations.

“American Indian culture has always been the cornerstone for tourism in our state and our region, and we, at Cherokee Nation, have worked hard to help champion those efforts,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Over the past decade, Cherokee Nation’s preservation efforts have led to an extraordinary collection of attractions that authentically tell the Cherokee story. Through these sites, we’re able to share that story with hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe each year, who are eager for the engaging experience that is found when you visit Cherokee Nation.”

The award was presented Wednesday afternoon at the Enough Good People Industry Awards ceremony hosted during the 22 annual American Indian Tourism Conference. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, the conference and awards ceremony were held virtually this year.

“We are delighted to recognize Cherokee Nation as the Tribal Destination of the Year,” said Sherry L. Rupert, CEO of American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association. “Cherokee Nation has been a great partner to American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and serves as an example to all tribal nations on how to encourage prosperity and growth through the perpetuation of culture.”

Cherokee Nation employee Linda Taylor was also recognized with the Excellence in Customer Service Award. Taylor has been with the tribe for 28 years and currently serves as the senior manager for Cherokee Nation’s retail operations.

“Linda’s passion and enthusiasm for Native American tourism, coupled with her commitment to customer service, has made a tremendous impact on our team throughout the years,” said Travis Owens, director of Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism. “Every interaction we have with guests helps shape their experience, and she always goes above and beyond to ensure that their expectations are exceeded. She has welcomed millions of visitors throughout the years, and we can’t thank her enough for her service and dedication.”

The annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC) is the only national conference in the United States dedicated to travel and tourism in and for Indian Country. It connects tribal leaders and tourism enterprises with tourism and hospitality professionals and fosters networking opportunities for attendees.

About Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation is the federally recognized government of the Cherokee people and has inherent sovereign status recognized by treaty and law. The seat of tribal government is the W.W. Keeler Complex near Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capital of the Cherokee Nation. With more than 380,000 citizens, 11,000 employees and a variety of tribal enterprises ranging from aerospace and defense contracts to entertainment venues, Cherokee Nation is one of the largest employers in northeastern Oklahoma and the largest tribal nation in the United States. To learn more, please visit

About Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism

Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is managed by Cherokee Nation Businesses and was created in 2007 to preserve and promote the history and culture of the Cherokee people. Efforts by the Cherokee Nation include award-winning cultural, specialty and event tours and operation of six Cherokee Nation museums, two Cherokee Nation welcome centers and various Cherokee Nation retail operations. For more information, please visit

About American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association 

For nearly two decades, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) has served as the national center for providing tourism and recreational travel technical assistance, training and capacity building to American Indian nations. American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association of Native American tribes and tribal businesses and was incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism. American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association’s mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.

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