Ecotourism is the most unique and fastest growing segment of the tourism industry. It is designed for visitors to experience a destination and learn about the culture, history and traditions of the native population. Eco-tourists are very respectful of their hosts, do not hunt game, harvest fish or disturb the environment in any way.

    Ecotourism programs create new employment and income opportunities for community members of all ages from youth to elders. The community owns and manages the program, all jobs are held by community members and all net revenues remain in the community. A typical 6-day Ecotourism program for 40 guests can create as many as 134 jobs.

    Dancers, drum groups, singers, artists, storytellers, craftspeople, food preparers, guides, painters, basket makers, clothing and regalia makers are all in demand to act as hosts and teachers. Other traditional skills such as cooking of native foods, drying meat and tanning hides are talents that Eco-tourists are also eager to learn about and participate in.

    Ecotourism creates significant revenues for Native American nations in other parts of the United States. Interestingly, most Pacific Northwest tribes have not yet developed this lucrative income source. Everything necessary to begin a successful program is usually in place on most reservation land and there is no need to invest in infrastructure to create the new profit center.

    Ecotourism is here to stay and the demand for programs increases every year. The first Native American nations in the region to create Ecotourism programs will capture and maintain the greatest market share for years to come.

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