Bringing Italy to Indian Country

AIANTA and Brand USA Bring Five Italian Journalists to Arizona and New Mexico for Native Focused Familiarization Trip
Desert View Watchtower, Grand Canyon National Park
Desert View Watchtower, Grand Canyon National Park
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* Travel
* Native American
* Italy

* Tourism

* Albuquerque - New Mexico - US

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - May 26, 2017 - PRLog -- The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, Inc. (AIANTA), in partnership with a multitude of tribal partners, Brand USA, and the U.S. Commercial Service Italy, will host a first of its kind familiarization (FAM) tour focused on Indian Country throughout the Southwest. The tour, taking place May 28-June 2, 2017 will take five select Italian travel and tourism press representatives through a unique, experiential tour of Arizona and New Mexico.

For the first time, AIANTA and Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the USA, are working together to create a completely Native American cultural-focused itinerary. Working with tribal partners throughout the two states, the 6-day tour will garner invaluable editorial coverage featuring tribal businesses, tours and organizations in the quickly growing Italian market.

"This Native American FAM tour will improve the visitor experience to the U.S. by showcasing the incredible experiential opportunities available in Native America," said Camille Ferguson, AIANTA Executive Director. "The Italian participants will have a chance to visit amazing destinations and have incredible experiences including staying in a traditional Navajo Hogan at Monument Valley, a sunset hike in Window Rock, Arizona, a tour of Acoma Sky City, exploring Santa Fe's unique Native art scene and more."

The tour, beginning in Phoenix, Arizona and ending in Albuquerque, New Mexico will have two step-on guides to provide cultural interpretation along the trip. Step on guides include Donovan Hanley from Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise and Emerson Vallo of Acoma Pueblo. Mr. Vallo is also a Southwest Representative on AIANTA's Board of Directors.

"Brand USA is excited to partner with AIANTA and the U.S. Commercial Service Italy to help showcase some of the great cultural heritage and historical experiences in the United States to the Italian travel media," said Brand USA President and CEO Christopher Thompson. "We have a great partnership with AIANTA and with the U.S. Commercial Service around the world, and this is another example of how we can work together to leverage each of our strengths."

Italian travel to Indian Country has seen a major increase in recent years. Italy was the seventh largest market generating visitors to Indian Country in 2015, and there was a phenomenal jump in Italian arrivals between 2014 and 2015, with a nearly 80% increase in overseas travelers to Native American destinations. With this strong market growing rapidly, the upcoming FAM tour will help AIANTA in its goal to continue to educate Italian travelers about Indian Country and bring even more visitors from the high-spending travel market directly to Native businesses.

Contact Rachel Cromer, AIANTA PR & Media Specialist for details and for the full itinerary.

Destinations and Partners Include:

Talking Stick Resort ( and the Courtyard by Marriot (, both owned and operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of Arizona

Desert View Watchtower and Visitor Area ( at the Grand Canyon National Park

Monument Valley Simpson's Trailhandler Tours (

Explore Navajo (

Thunderbird Canyon Tours ( and Thunderbird Lodge (

Hubbell Trading Post (

The Quality Inn Navajo Nation Capital

Acoma Pueblo (

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (

Indian Arts Research Center (

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (

La Fonda Hotel (

Hotel Santa Fe (

Poeh Cultural Center ( and Pojoaque Pueblo

Taos Pueblo (

Pueblo Harvest Café ( and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (


The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, Inc. (AIANTA) is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association of American Indian tribes; tribal tourism, cultural and private sector representatives; representatives from the tourism industry; Federal, State and local governments; colleges and universities; and friends incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism. The association is made up of representatives from six regions: Alaska, Eastern, Midwest, Pacific, Plains and the Southwest. AIANTA's mission is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian tourism that honors traditions and values.

About Brand USA:

Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, was established by the Travel Promotion Act as the nation's first public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and to communicate U.S. travel policies and procedures to worldwide travelers. The organization's mission is to increase international visitation to the USA in order to fuel the U.S. economy and enhance the image of the United States worldwide. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion in 2010, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA. According to studies by Oxford Economics, over the past four years Brand USA's marketing initiatives have helped welcome 4.3 million incremental visitors to the USA, benefiting the U.S. economy with nearly $30 billion in total economic impact, which has supported, on average, nearly 51,000 incremental jobs a year.

For industry or partner information about Brand USA, visit ( For information about exceptional and unexpected travel experiences in the United States, please visit Brand USA's consumer website (

Rachel Cromer
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Tags:Travel, Native American, Italy
Location:Albuquerque - New Mexico - United States
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