World's First Indigenous Tourism Forum is Going Virtual

The world’s first Indigenous Tourism Forum of the Americas has been rescheduled to go virtual for October 12-16, 2020.

The forum was previously scheduled in March 2020 but has been rescheduled to be a virtual event because of COVID-19.

The Organization of the American States, the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs have collaborated to make this event possible.

The gathering is pivotal for Indigenous, governmental and business leaders to come together and explore the importance of tourism within Indigenous communities across the Americas.

Tourism has been an important part of Indigenous communities to earn income, alleviate poverty, better their communities and preserve their cultural heritage. However, these communities are facing their own challenges because of the drop in tourism from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the many social and economic inequalities that exist for Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, but being self-reliant and resourceful in the face of viruses and other threats is by no means a new experience for these communities,” says Seleni Matus, Director of the GW International Institute of Tourism Studies. “Especially given the demand for nature and wellness travel, Indigenous communities have an opportunity to include tourism in their recovery plans.

The forum will feature destination tours, keynote speakers, workshops and roundtable discussions focusing on recovery and sustainable development.

“It’s our hope that the forum will be a starting point for post-pandemic empowerment and ownership so that Indigenous communities in the U.S., Canada, and Central and South America can use tourism to create cultural connections, educate the world about their traditions and challenges, and determine their own narratives for the future,” says Matus.

To register for the event, please click here. For more information about the Indigenous Tourism Forum of the Americas, please visit IndigenousTourismForum.org.

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