Wabanaki Cultural Tourism Initiative Featured Image

What is Cultural Tourism?

The UN Tourism General Assembly defines cultural tourism as “a type of tourism activity in which the visitor’s essential motivation is to learn, discover, experience and consume the tangible and intangible cultural attractions/products in a tourism destination.” In relation to indigenous tourism, it allows visitors to experience the traditions of indigenous communities while respecting their cultural heritage and supporting the communities economically.

What is the Wabanaki Cultural Tourism Initiative?

In 2019, Four Directions Development Corporation and the Maine Office of Tourism, along with Wabanaki partners, convened for the first Tribal Economic Development Summit. After the initial gathering, a strategic partnership emerged between Four Directions Development Corporation (FDDC ) and the Maine Office of Tourism, leading to a culturally significant Tribal-led tourism initiative. This collaborative effort aims to develop a comprehensive tourism plan, guided by Tribal community leaders, that celebrates the rich heritage and contemporary culture of the Wabanaki tribes. This initiative aspires to enhance tourism and create economic opportunities for the Tribal Nations in the State of Maine. As a crucial next step, FDDC and the Tribal Leadership team are pioneering the creation of the inaugural Wabanaki Cultural Tourism Plan, with the ambitious goal of establishing a thriving Wabanaki tourism economy by 2030.

Objectives of WCTI

  • Design and develop a community vision & strategy for the development and management of Wabanaki Tourism Engage Tribal youth in planning and participation
  • Establish a Native American Maine Guide program
  • Establish a sustainable Maine Native Tourism Alliance
  • Establish a designated Wabanaki Tourism Destination Marketing Organization, including staff position

Benefits of Cultural Tourism for Tribal Communities

  • Economic Vitality
  • Job Creation & Growth
  • Celebration of heritage
  • Engage Tribal youth in planning and participation in language and cultural preservation

Who Can I Contact About the Initiative?

Armanda Davis, Native Arts & Cultural Tourism Program Manager for Four Directions Development Corporation, studied Hospitality & Tourism Management at Eastern Maine Community College, where she was awarded the Concierge Award and the Excellence in Technology Award. She has also earned several professional certificates from various institutions, including The Travel Institute and The Hotel & Lodging Association, and is currently enrolled in The George Washington University certification program. Her passion is travel, and she is excited to help craft experiences for the Wabanaki Cultural Tourism Initiative.

Armanda Davis Cultural Tourism
WCTI Footer

Four Directions Development Corporation and the WCTI Leadership Team, in collaboration with the Maine Office of Tourism, are working to ensure all tourism initiative goals are met. Under the guidance of several partners and stakeholders, our work will lead to unlimited opportunities and numerous educational Wabanaki tourism endeavors.