November 29, 2007

Tapping into the German market

Tribes renew interest in tourism

Experts see benefits in resurgence of international travelThe Germans have created their own tourism industry, something they call "Indianerreisen," or Indian tours, which is an expanding niche market that specializes in the exploration of Indian culture. More than 85,000 Germans visited an American Indian community in 2006, according to an Office of Travel and Tourism Industries survey.

"Now is the time to get back into the market and remind the international traveler of the unique opportunity that they can participate in and visit Native American sites while they're in the country," said Ron Erdmann, travel and tourism industries deputy director of research in the U.S. Commerce Department.
Tribes are starting to get the message:While tribes like the Navajo Nation have long been a tourist destination, the majority of tribes haven't made the effort to invite people into their homelands.

"Tourism is hard to wrap your arms around, even for the United States. For Indian Country, it's even more complex," said Ed Hall, AIANTA founder. "In my estimation, what we're talking about is culture. There are a lot of people out there who want to see Indian communities and authentic culture."
Comment:  I presume the "authentic culture" doesn't include visits to the local grocery store, laundromat, or bingo hall.

I wonder how many of these Germans visited anywhere but the familiar Lakota and Navajo reservations.

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