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Indigenous Communities Around the World Create Authentic Travel Experiences

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Indigenous-led Experiences Preserve Culture and Educate Visitors

Indigenous communities from Alaska to Australia are creating travel experiences that give visitors the opportunity to learn about their history, culture, and future. These initiatives, led by the communities themselves, not only preserve their culture but also educate and enrich the lives of travelers.

Authentic Opportunities Led by Indigenous Peoples

For travelers seeking diverse and intentional travel experiences, it's important to seek out authentic opportunities led by people of the culture. These experiences are more genuine, less exploitative, and directly benefit the community. By supporting Indigenous-led businesses, travelers contribute to the fight for Indigenous self-determination and understanding.

A Shift Towards Genuine and Beneficial Experiences

Unlike the exploitative and appropriative tourism experiences of the past, the newest trend of Indigenous tourism is owned or led by members of Indigenous communities themselves. This ensures that the experiences are genuine, less exploitative, and directly benefit the community. Companies owned by outsiders often exploit Indigenous communities and religious practices for profit, perpetuating stereotypes.

Indigenous-led Tourism Experiences Reflect Diversity

Indigenous tourism experiences vary across the Americas and around the world, reflecting the diversity of Indigenous communities themselves. The communities themselves make the experiences unique, with a wide range of opportunities available. From remote adventures in the Arctic to cultural experiences guided by Indigenous communities, there is something for every type of traveler.

Economic Impact and Cultural Preservation

A study conducted by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association found that Native-owned hospitality businesses are a $14 billion industry in the U.S. Tourism not only creates jobs but also supports cultural workers, allowing them to share their culture and traditions with visitors. By participating in Indigenous-led experiences, travelers gain a better understanding of these communities and can help dispel misinformation.

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Finding Authentic Indigenous Travel Experiences

When searching for an Indigenous tourism experience, it's crucial to find one that is run or led by Indigenous peoples. Look for businesses that specifically identify the tribe or community they are associated with. Organizations like ITAC and AIANTA work with Indigenous peoples to grow and market tourism businesses. Websites like and Destination Indigenous provide resources to find authentic Indigenous travel experiences in the U.S. and Canada.

It's important to be cautious when searching for these experiences, as not every tourism business that focuses on Indigenous cultures is Indigenous-led. Some companies may offer Indigenous experiences without truly benefiting the community. Avoid activities that grant unfettered access to sacred sites or promise access to religious ceremonies.

Supporting Indigenous-led tourism is not just about economics but also supports cultural revitalization in Indigenous communities.