Talking Stick Resort, an enterprise of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC), has been recognized as Tribal Destination of the Year by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA). The prestigious award was given to the property during the annual Enough Good People Awards Banquet and Silent Auction on Sept. 13 at the annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC).

“We take great pride in any recognition garnered by Talking Stick Resort, as the property is truly a reflection of the history and culture of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community,” said Ramon Martinez, director of public relations for Talking Stick Resort. “So to be honored as a tribal destination by our peers in our industry is even more meaningful.”

The “Tribal Destination of the Year” award is given to those destinations that encompass the following: excellent customer service, visitor friendly destination, authentic cultural heritage experiences and amenities for visitors. Nominees for the award must meet the criteria, while also working to advance to advance the mission of AIATA which is to define, introduce, grow and sustain American Indian, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian tourism.

Since opening in 2010, Talking Stick Resort has offered guests an array of culturally significant experiences. From intricate details in it’s to décor to historic artifacts throughout the property, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is represented. Beyond design, guests can travel the Steward Trail or History Trail, which showcases and informs them of cultural elements of the facility and surrounding area that reflect the Pima and Maricopa tribes. Talking Stick Resort is also home to one of largest traditional and modern Native American art collections outside a museum and also regularly hosts complimentary Native American dance performances.

The award was given as part of the Enough Good People Awards Banquet at American Indian Tourism Conference.  Now in its 19th year, it is the only national conference on tourism in Indian Country, and serves as an educational forum to help tribes and their businesses with initiatives related travel and tourism. Each year the conference tackles such topics as tour packaging, attracting tour operators, new technologies, tourism assessment and inventory development, working with state and federal agencies and more. 

Other awards given at the banquet included The Best Cultural Heritage Experience Award to the Steward Father’s Day Pow Wow in Nevada and The Excellence in Customer Service Award to Donovan Hanley of the Navajo Nation.

For more information on Talking Stick Resort, its cultural experiences and other amenities, visit or call (480) 850-7777.