Best & the Western American Indian Chamber Launch Online Directory

In conjunction with the Western American
Indian Chamber, Business Enterprises for Sustainable Travel (BEST), a joint
initiative of The Conference Board and the World Travel & Tourism Council,
have announced the launch of Native Tourism, (www.nativetourism.org

), an
online directory of American Indian-owned and managed tourism enterprises
that present the rich heritage, cultures and natural lands of Indian tribal
nations.

Michael Seltzer, the Director of BEST, and Ben Sherman, President of the
Western American Indian Chamber and an Oglala Lakota, will unveil the online
directory today at the World Ecotourism Summit (www.ecotourism2002.org), at
the Québec Convention Centre in Québec City during their joint presentation,
“A New Era in Travel and Tourism on Native and Indigenous Lands.” The World
Ecotourism Summit is hosted by The Canadian Tourism Commission and Tourism
Québec.

Native Tourism, which will also be published in a print edition, is the
result of a survey conducted by BEST and the Western American Indian
Chamber, with the help of a grant from the American Express Company and in
conjunction with the University of Colorado Center for Sustainable Tourism.


The goal of this project is to empower Indian tribal communities and
individual entrepreneurs to develop enterprises that celebrate the cultures
and preserve the natural resources of tribal nations, as well as to provide
assistance in marketing such enterprises. The directory serves as a valuable
source for domestic and international tourists, as well as tour organizers,
who seek authentic Native American enterprises and sites that offer
enriching travel experiences.

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Ben Sherman noted, “The Native Tourism directory, with its international
reach, will help tribal nations and native entrepreneurs use tourism as a
means of fostering economic development while preserving native cultures and
natural landscapes. We want to help tribal communities who own and manage
such sustainable businesses become key participants in the global tourism
market and control their own tourism destinies.”

Michael Seltzer commented, “A new era in travel and tourism has been
emerging among native and indigenous peoples worldwide. Visitors today have
the opportunity to experience the hospitality of North America`s first
nations, while also helping tribes to keep their rich cultures, natural
resources and ways of life intact for generations to come.”

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