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A New State-led Initiative ‘Visit Native California’ is Online to Promote Indigenous Tourism

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As per the CEO of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), Sherry Rupert, establishments & experiences owned by Native Americans have largely been left out of the conversation in the tourism industry,

Visit Native California is an online portal by the state’s tourism bureau that aims to change the inequality in the tourism industry.

The initiative was launched in March 2023 to eventually help local residents and visitors plan trips to places linked to the original occupants of the area, mainly the indigenous.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ director of public relations, Kate Anderson, mentioned that the idea of a portal as a central guide to activities, experiences, and businesses with Indigenous connections grew naturally from living and working in Palm Springs.

Visit Native California was launched on VisitCalifornia.com with numerous blog posts, suggested itineraries, and other forms of content that showcase opportunities for travelers to visit and learn more about California’s 109 federally recognized tribes and tribal communities.

The Agua Caliente have tried to push the native narrative in recent years with local efforts like a cultural center situated in downtown Palm Springs focussed on the region’s history.

At launch, the site contains multiple points of interest, venues, and attractions across the state.

All together, the recommendations serve as guide for tourists to plan and prepare visits or connect a few on multi-stop itineraries through the state.

The goal of the portal is to have over numerous recommendations, and meanwhile Visit California will continue to update the site as time goes on.

Visit Native California is funded with a grant from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

This new initiative will be the first state platform to push ahead Native American tourism experiences in a “top-of-mind way,” as per Caroline Beteta, CEO & president of Visit California.

The goal of the site is to promote Indigenous tourism, share valuable Indigenous cultures, and educate many about Indigenous people.

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