Heritage and Cultural Tourism

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SITKA - Sitka Tribe of Alaska is pleased to announce the second annual Heritage and Cultural Tourism Conference, to be held April 2 to 4 at Harrigan Centennial Hall in Sitka. The conference, with the theme "Building Cultural Tourism," is planned for all levels of employees and those involved in the growing field of cultural and heritage tourism.

Courtesy Of Kathy Hope Erickson
Courtesy Of Kathy Hope Erickson

The three-day event features workshops and field activities that are designed for personnel from museums, tourism businesses, attractions, governmental entities (state, local or tribal) and others interested in learning about growing business of culture- and heritage-based tourism.

This conference is a cooperative effort between the Sitka National Historical Park, Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center, Sitka Historical Society, Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development, Sitka Chamber of Commerce, Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau. Sponsors include the city of Sitka, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Totem Square Inn, the Bob Allen family, Allen Marine and First Bank.

Featured in the conference is keynote speaker Monica Durand, marketing director of La Ruta de Sonora, who will discuss geotourism, local level through global level, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 2, and again at the closing reception on Friday, April 4. Another highlight is an elders panel discussion Wednesday afternoon on "What to Share and How to Share Native Culture with Visitors," with three Southeast Alaska elders who are widely recognized cultural authorities.

Workshops and presentations by a wealth of field experts and related agency representatives are scheduled. Subjects covered range from the development of the heritage tourism business to working with government agencies, and discerning what assistance is available to business owners. Classes on web design, marketing, developing authentic heritage programs, and museum accreditation will be featured.

Registration for the full conference or for individual day participation is open now through April 2, with a special corporate rate for companies registering three or more participants. Tickets to several of the special events are also available for those who will not be able to attend the entire conference. These events include the opening reception Wednesday evening, the Allen Marine cruise with wildlife interpretation, and the closing reception with keynote address by Dr. Joaquin Murrieta.

Conference and registration information is available at www.sitka.org/public. Information requests may be directed to Kathy Hope Erickson of Sitka Tribe of Alaska at 747-7396 or kerickson@sitkatribe.org.

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