New Web site educates, informs public on events, culture, history
MIAMI - As worldwide interest in all things American Indian grows, DiscoverNativeAmerica.com is the only Web site that focuses on all the tribes of North America to assist visitors, schoolchildren and the world at large with the history, culture and tourism that all tribes offer.
The brainchild of Lee Tiger of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, Tiger brings expertise in American Indian relations and global marketing to this site as he has effectively promoted cultural and eco-heritage tourism for more than three decades.
''I have learned over the last 30 years of traveling to other countries for tourism shows and promotions that there is a great interest in our Native American culture,'' Tiger said. ''Five years ago, after talking to my father, Buffalo Tiger [former tribal chairman], I decided that the world needed a communication and educational tool accessible by the Internet. While many tribes have their own Web sites, this is the only site that brings all the information together in one place.''
DiscoverNativeAmerica.com is designed to allow tribes to self-promote and participate on a collective basis. Available in 10 international languages, the site features DNA online radio, Kid Zone, a monthly calendar of pow wows and events, national Native news updates and travel offerings ranging from Everglades adventures in Florida to horseback riding vacations in Montana, canoe camps in Idaho and spiritual retreats in Arizona.
In addition to marketing both the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee, Tiger has been appointed to serve on Florida's Cultural Heritage Tourism Committee by two Florida governors, including Gov. Jeb Bush. He is also known as the surviving brother of the award-winning, internationally known pop music group, ''Tiger Tiger.'' His brother, Stephen Tiger, died in 2006.
American Indian tourism is in the development stage and aims to become an integral part of the world's largest industry: tourism. Globalization is a natural fit for Native tourism, for tribes possess unique cultural, historical and natural environmental opportunities that visitors covet. DNA provides instantaneous Indian country-wide perspective and viewpoints, pulling together all tribal tourism resources in a single snapshot to be shared with the world.
''The Internet is a vital tool for travel, as almost 70 percent of travelers book room reservations, airfares, rental cars and attractions over the Internet. Tribal tourism is not considered a high priority in most states - Arizona and New Mexico being the exceptions,'' Tiger said. ''DiscoverNativeAmerica can help to change that situation through collaborative efforts. We stand ready to help all tribes educate and promote their destination and Native American nature/heritage tourism activities.''
DiscoverNativeAmerica produces a brochure that mirrors the Web site and provides details and contact information of every tribe on the site. The Web site and brochures will be exhibited and distributed at three major world travel tradeshows: Travel Association of America Powwow held in a different state every May; International Travel Exchange held every March in Berlin, Germany; and World Travel Market held every November in London, England.