Hotel Lobby at Coeur D’Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Worley, Idaho
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) recently honored the best Tribal destinations and leaders in the tourism industry at the Enough Good People Awards Gala & Silent Auction during the 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Each year, AIANTA, as the national organization representing the Tribal hospitality and tourism industry, recognizes the best of Indian Country travel and tourism in three categories, with the Enough Good People Industry Awards.
The 2019 Tribal Destination of the Year was awarded to the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort in Worley, Idaho. Coeur d’Alene’s Tribal history and way of life, its people, Tribal language, beadwork, traditional songs/dance, storytelling and artwork are all elements featured throughout the Resort.
The Best Cultural Heritage Experience was awarded to the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, Alaska. The Center features six recreated winter dwellings, which represent the 11 different cultural groups of Alaska where visitors can explore the history and cultural heritage of Alaska Native peoples.
The Isleta Resort and Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico, received the Excellence in Customer Service award. The Resort has built an “I Respond & Care” program, establishing a new mission, vision and core values and series of workshops.
Along with the Industry Awards, AIANTA has also been honoring Tribal tourism champions from across the country with the Enough Good People Director’s Award since 2012. This year, AIANTA was proud to present Lisa Gassman from the Sitka Tribe of Alaska with the prestigious award, recognizing her deep commitment to the preservation and sharing of American Indian culture through tourism.
Nominees for these destination awards must meet minimum standards for each category while also working to advance AIANTA’s mission to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.Proceeds raised from the event are used to support AIANTA’s scholarship program, which awards financial aid to Native American students interested in pursuing careers in the hospitality and tourism industry and culinary arts.
About the American Indian Tourism Conference
The annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC), the only national conference dedicated to travel and tourism in Indian Country, connects Tribal leaders and tourism enterprises with tourism and hospitality professionals to help grow tourism in Tribal communities throughout the United States. www.aianta.org/aitc
For more than 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. AIANTA 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. AIANTA’s mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian and Alaska Native tourism that honors traditions and values. www.aianta.org.