DILKON, Ariz. — A new travel information website, designed by tribal members, aims to bring tourists to Navajo land by providing inside information and cultivating an online exchange and discussion.
The site is now online at www.TravelNavajoOnline.com and is free during the website’s inaugural month of June.
The site designers say the Navajo Nation receives over one million visitors (3.7 per traveling party) within an eight-month period according to the 2018 Navajo Nation Visitor and Economic Impact Survey.
“The site is at least two years in the making,” said George Joe, a Navajo who previously founded Rez Biz magazine in 2005. “We spent a lot of time researching what tourists want and a lot of it is based on my personal experience visiting other countries. In several tourism studies, a frequently repeated comment was that tourists were frustrated by the lack of information. Tourists visiting Navajo want an authentic experience and want someone local to guide them to that source.”
In addition to the well-known destinations on Navajo, the site has stories about lesser known destinations, including things to know about the Navajo culture, how and where to watch an authentic ceremony, travel and safety tips, Navajo foods and where to buy, authentic Native American jewelry, hiking opportunities and others. A user can also access a Google map to each of these locations.
“The site also has recommendations and a cultural perspective that only a Navajo-managed site can deliver,” said Ron Goulet, one of the writers. “TravelNavajoOnline.com comes from a lifetime of the site founder’s cultural practices, education and study of media.”
Tourism related profiles will continue to be added, said Carol Davis, who wrote about her daughter’s puberty ceremony. “These stories will feature businesses and people in the tourism business who want to give the traveler a greater experience.”
Subscribers will also get a weekly blog delivered via email with updates on events, updates on destinations, and other features.
Content is provided by professional writers and photographers who have extensive journalism experience and insight among the Navajo people. The site was designed by website designer J-3 Media in Durango, Colorado.
Starting in July, the travel website will charge a $5.95 subscription for 20 days, and returning users will get 50% off. The site is free during an initial introductory period in the month of June.
An introductory marketing publication (45,000 copies) that profiles the web site has been distributed to over 75 hotels, restaurant, and tourist information centers, Davis said.
The next issue of the print issue will be distributed in mid to late July.
Other statistics of interests from the 2018 tourism study:
Travelers will spend 2.1 days on the Navajo reservation
63% of travelers will stay in a hotel/ motel, not necessarily on the Navajo Nation or in Arizona
37% of travelers stayed overnight on the Navajo Nation and paid for hotel/ motel accommodations.
While 55% stayed overnight off the Navajo Nation and paid overnight at a non-Navajo Nation hotel/ motel accommodation
63% of those travelers did visit the Navajo Nation but did not stay overnight
For every 10,000 visitors to the Navajo Nation who stay in a hotel/ motel will generate about $6.9 million in sales
88% of travelers indicate they will return to the Navajo Nation, and 98% would recommend visiting the Navajo Nation
More information or to become a partner is available by calling (928) 606-9464 or visiting info@TravelNavajoOnline.com.
Information provided by Travel Navajo Online