Indigenous communities engaging in tourism development in Arizona, USA

Aina Pubill Ambros, Christine N. Buzinde

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Informed by an asset-based community development framework, the purpose of this exploratory study is to understand the approaches/goals and challenges related to tourism development in Indigenous communities located in Arizona. Tourism representatives from eight Indigenous communities were interviewed. A key emergent theme was the creation of awareness for endogenous and exogenous audiences, which was accomplished by educating hosts and tourists. Provision of knowledge for the former encompassed accounting for revenue generation opportunities as well as the prioritization of the community’s values/needs. Didactic efforts geared towards tourists entailed dismantling stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples, promulgated by dominant society while simultaneously orienting guests to the richness and distinctness of Native communities. Participants mentioned challenges that limit tourism growth such as lack of needed infrastructure, and absence of product ideation, as well as lack of a skilled or willing local labor force. Mitigation efforts, according to participants, have to align with Indigenous cosmologies so as to maintain support from the community and to foster Indigenously informed sustainable approaches to tourism.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)296-311
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Heritage Tourism
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 2022


    • Arizona
    • Indigenous Peoples
    • awareness creation
    • limits to growth
    • tourism development

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • History
    • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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