Petition: Support the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association

Petition: Support the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association

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AIANTA Tourism started this petition

About the Hospitality Industry 

The hospitality industry is an incredibly important one for the American economy, supporting 9.5 million American jobs and accounting for nearly 3 percent of the entire GDP (at pre-pandemic levels). 

Tourism is also an incredibly competitive industry, with many regions, destinations, and attractions competing for the same visitors. Very few single communities have the budgets or human resources to be self-sufficient in their tourism outreach, which is why destination marketing organizations (DMOs) such as convention & visitors bureaus and state tourism agencies are so important.

(Under) Representing Native Tourism

Historically, Native tourism has not been included in the promotional efforts driven by these associations. In 1998, to help mitigate the lack of inclusion, Tribes came together to form AIANTA, an association charged with providing technical assistance and training, and other resources to Native communities involved in tourism. 

AIANTA Needs Your Support

Nearly 25 years after its formation, AIANTA continues to compete on an unlevel playing field. For example, the FY 2021 American Rescue Plan Act included funding for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) specific to Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation with $750 million of EDA’s American Rescue Plan funds going towards communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. 

That funding included $510 million in non-competitive awards to help states and U.S. territories quickly invest in marketing, infrastructure, workforce and other projects to rejuvenate safe leisure, business and international travel. None of that funding went to AIANTA, the only organization specifically dedicated to advancing American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian cultural tourism in the United States. This is despite AIANTA’s repeated request for equity and inclusion in the distribution of these funds.

Petition

By signing this petition, you acknowledge your support of AIANTA’s efforts to provide technical assistance and training to the Native hospitality industry and ask the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Appropriations. and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, to utilize the NATIVE Act to fund the work of AIANTA, the only national program that acts as the collective voice of the industry in its entirety.

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At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!