Vol. LII No. 9
September 2017

Cultural tourism means connectedness, economic growth


It has been observed over the past few decades that the world has become “smaller.” The advent of affordable, efficient air travel, the development of the U.S. interstate highway system and the growth of knowledge seekers across the globe have fed “cultural tourism.”

Many tourists today plan vacations to do more than simply relax. They want to learn and discover new things about the world’s cultures. Some want to immerse themselves in their own cultural heritage, and others have a passion to learn about cultures other than their own.

The Chickasaw Nation has, over the past several years, developed a cultural tourism infrastructure that is now drawing tourists from around the world! It is now not uncommon to encounter visitors from Asia, Europe, Australia and more right here in our own Chickasaw Nation.

Cultural tourism is generally regarded as quality tourism. Cultural tourists come with a passion for information and knowledge. They typically spend more and stay longer than other categories of visitors. They are much gentler on the environment and linger in areas that catch their interest.

Cultural tourists are interested in culture, history, people, art and all the elements that have shaped the lives of the culture they are visiting. They are generally respectful of their hosts and eager to learn all they can.

We have developed an outstanding portfolio of venues for our visitors. And those venues are attracting more and more visitors every year!

Of course, the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur is a primary draw in Chickasaw Country. Our Cultural Center serves as “ground zero” for those seeking a great educational, cultural and entertainment experience.

Also in Sulphur is our Chickasaw Visitor Center. The Visitor Center serves as a clearinghouse of information for our guests. It is staffed by knowledgeable, trained co-workers who help our visitors get the quality experience they seek. Our ARTesian Gallery and Studios in downtown Sulphur offers a unique and special experience where guests can get very close to our fine art and actually see creative work by our artists. It is a wonderful place where our artists thrive and our guests are always excited.

We are very proud to have great facilities for our visitors located throughout the Chickasaw Nation.

The Chickasaw Nation Information Center, Chickasaw Bank Museum, Chickasaw Council House Museum and our historic capitol building are all located in our original capital city of Tishomingo.

The Chickasaw Welcome Center is right across from our popular Bedré Fine Chocolate facility in Davis.

Our outstanding Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center in Daugherty continues to welcome groups from the U.S. and other countries. This beautiful and luxurious facility offers a terrific experience, plus some of the finest natural views imaginable!

There are additional Chickasaw Nation entertainment, dining and recreation venues throughout the area. Each plays an important role in attracting our valued cultural tourists.

Cultural tourism helps drive economic growth for our tribe and provides employment for many Chickasaws. Just as important, this special category of tourism is a vehicle to share our unique and storied history of survival, drive and success. Most of our visitors come away with new knowledge and a healthy respect for the Chickasaw Nation and Chickasaw people.

When you identify a cultural tourist visiting our area, be sure to say hello. And it’s a good idea to be prepared to answer a question or two about your Chickasaw heritage!

Our cultural tourism initiative is a key element in our overall growth strategy. We have built our cultural tourism project from the ground up. Our investment in this important project is now paying great dividends to our tribe, our people and our future growth.