The Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) has appointed a new Chair and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the Organisation in the implementation of its largest Aboriginal tourism program ever.
Mr Robert Taylor has been appointed as the CEO for the organisation after a successful 14 months as the Association’s Chairman. With Mr Taylor’s migration from the Board table to become the chief administrator, Ms Tahn Donovan is the new WAITOC Chair.
Ms Donovan, a Wardandi woman originally from Busselton, has extensive experience in tourism, environmental sustainability and also small business operations. Ms Donovan said she was honoured by the opportunity to take on the Chairmanship of WAITOC at a critical time to guide the implementation of the $4.6M Royalties for Regions funded, Aboriginal Tourism Development Program (ATDP).
“The ATDP is a partnership between the State Government and WAITOC to support the growth of sustainable Aboriginal tourism businesses in regional Western Australia to enable the State to deliver on the promise of giving visitors an extraordinary tourism experiences.
Mr Taylor, a Yamatji (Nhanda) man, is WAITOC’s first ever Western Australian Aboriginal CEO. Mr Taylor has 20 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry in Margaret River, Busselton, Karratha and Mandurah. “My business experience, together with the knowledge I have obtained during my time as the WAITOC Chair, Treasurer and Board member will be used to ensure that the ATDP program delivers outstanding tourism and economic outcomes while also creating strong business enterprises for Aboriginal people and communities.
A key component of the ATDP is a Business Development Program that will provide 10 businesses from the Kimberley and 7 from the broader southern regions with intense one-on-one business tourism coaching support over the next 3.5 years.
WAITOC Chair, Ms Donovan announced the 17 businesses (listed below) that have been selected to participate. “These businesses offer a range of experiences such as walking tours within spectacular national parks and coastal environments, campground developments on key touring corridors, bush food experiences, wildlife education, and the appreciation of Aboriginal culture beyond the art gallery.
Tourism business coaches based in Broome and Bunbury will work with business owners to enhance compliancy, financial administration, business systems, staff management, accreditation, marketing and experience delivery by implementing customised annual action plans to help achieve strong, viable businesses.
Mr Taylor said that while the Business Development initiative supports specific clusters of businesses, WAITOC will continue to promote Western Australia’s suite of Aboriginal cultural experiences.
“With in excess of 100 Aboriginal tourism businesses on offer in our extraordinary State, there are Aboriginal cultural tourism experiences that are sure to appeal to all visitors and local Western Australians. WAITOC will continue to market these amazing cultural experiences domestically and internationally.
Media Contact: Mr Robert Taylor, CEO T: 0419 921 946 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants in the Aboriginal Tourism Development Program
Baulu-Wah Aboriginal Corporation, East Kimberley Campground
Bundy's Cultural Tours, West Kimberley (Dampier Peninsular/Kooljaman)
Bungoolee Tours, Central Kimberley (Tunnel Creek)
Imintji Aboriginal Corporation, Central Kimberley (Gibb River Rd.) Campground
Luridgii Enterprises, East Kimberley (near Argyle Diamond Mine) Tours
Mimbi Aboriginal Corporation, Central Kimberley (Gt. Northern Hwy) Campground
My Country Tours, West Kimberley (Eco Beach)
Narlijia Cultural Tours, West Kimberley (Broome)
Wandjina Tours, Kimberley Coast (Freshwater Cove) Tours & Accommodation
Waringarri Aboriginal Art, East Kimberley (Kununurra) Art Centre & Tours
Broader Southern Regions
Cape Cultural Tours, Dunsborough
Murray District Aboriginal Corp, Pinjarra Cultural Centre/Food
Ngalang Wongi Aboriginal Cultural Tours, Bunbury
Njaki Njaki Aboriginal Cultural Tours, Merredin
Nyoongah Rangers Tours, Narrogin
Poornarti Aboriginal Tours, Denmark/Albany
Roelands Village (Woolkabunning Kiaka Inc.) Collie Accommodation/Food
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