signed a bill promote Native tourism into law on Friday
the Native American Tourism and Improving Visitor Experience Act (NATIVE Act), does something rather simple but supporters say it will help draw more people, and their dollars, to Native communities. It requires federal agencies to update their existing management plans and tourism strategies to include tribes, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.
"This bill will empower Native communities to tell their own stories and build their own economic opportunities," Sen. Brian Schatz
(D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Committee on Indian
and the sponsor of the NATIVE Act, said in a press release
after the measure cleared its final hurdle
on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
"For too long, tourism has focused on so-called major destinations and while that's important, we have the opportunity to support cultural revitalization and economic renewal through the passage of this bill," Schatz said. "Visitors are increasingly seeking out a more authentic and historically rich travel experience, and there is nothing more authentic and unique than the cultural tourism experience our native communities provide.
passed the bill on July 13
. It cleared the House
on September 12
The bill does not require federal agencies with tourism programs to spend additional funds.
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