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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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New Cultural Heritage Tourism Certificate Announced

The online program, offered through SDSU Global Campus, will help students explore the fundamentals of tribal tourism planning.
By Tim Grenda

CORRECTION: This story was updated on Oct. 25, 2021 to clarify the certificate program name and to correct an error in the AIANTA name.  
SDSU Global Campus and the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, Inc. (AIANTA) will offer a new online certificate in Cultural Tourism and Tribal Enterprises (CTTE), with classes beginning January 2022.

The for-credit certificate, developed by the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management program, will bring together academic and industry experts who will provide tools for tribal tourism planners to sustain a balance between the tribal cultural environments, economic development, tourism promotion and recreational use. 

Through the new Cultural Tourism and Tribal Enterprises Certificate program, students will learn global best practices in the effective organization, administration and supervision of tribal cultural sites, recreation and tourism agencies and leisure-related tribal businesses, including tourism agencies, tribal gaming and hospitality operations and sacred sites.
Kate Spilde, endowed chair of the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at SDSU, will serve as director of the new program.
“This partnership with AIANTA will complement and benefit from our existing tribal gaming degree program and certificate program,” Spilde said. “In particular, we are excited to expand our course offerings to include a focus on economic sustainability, including how to coordinate tribal tourism development with tribal political, cultural and spiritual concerns.”
Sherry L. Rupert, chief executive officer for AIANTA, says her organization was drawn to SDSU’s existing tribal programs and is excited about this partnership. 

“As an organization, AIANTA is dedicated to serving tribal communities and we saw that SDSU shares our commitment to leadership enhancement training through incorporating cultural tourism in tribal enterprises with a broad lens on tribal enterprises, hospitality and gaming operations collaboratively supporting and incorporating cultural tourism,” Rupert said. 

The first block of courses will run from Jan. 18 to March 13, 2022, followed by the second block from March 14 to May 8, 2022.

AIANTA reported historic growth among American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian (AIANNH)-owned businesses. From 2007 to 2012, and across all sectors, such businesses grew at a 22% rate to more than 353,000, and have continued to grow.  
The CTTE program will consist of two levels, offered annually, with each level including eight weeks of online instruction through SDSU Global Campus. The courses and levels are designed to be progressive and participants will earn three units of college credit for each completed level. 
Designed to be flexible and meet the needs of busy individuals interested in professional development and career advancement, the CTTE program will include guest lectures, case studies, directed readings and other experiential learning modules to promote the application of course content into tribal tourism development in real time.