“We would like to take this opportunity to renew our commitment to supporting our members in their endeavours to empower themselves and their families throughout the community,” said WAITOC CEO Rob Taylor. “Votes may tally opinions, but they don’t tally our spirit or potential.”
“Our commitment to elevating the voices of Aboriginal people remains steadfast, as does our collective endeavour to create meaningful change. It’s understandable to feel disheartened. But let’s use this moment not as a setback but as a catalyst to unite and refocus our energies. Let it serve as a reminder of the importance of our work. We are not just promoting the tourism industry, we are promoting understanding, respect, and a brighter, more inclusive future for all.”
Eighty per cent of overseas visitors to Australia cite Aboriginal tourism experiences as an essential ‘must do’ part of their trip, yet many local tourists remain surprisingly unaware of the richness of the world’s oldest continuing culture right on their doorstep, which means the role of tour guides as educators and truth-tellers has become even more vital post-October 14.
“As traditional owners, we are the experts of our respective countries,” said Go Cultural Aboriginal Tours & Experiences owner/operator Meg McGuire. “We guide visitors safely through our lands, spend our lives greeting strangers, both near and far, many times making ourselves the ‘exhibit’ as we share our stories and insights."
Alongside the welcoming hospitality of the people and communities, Australia’s Aboriginal cultures and traditions are central to the nation’s history, stories, and the unique point of difference for tourism. Now, more than ever before, the Australian tourism industry has a major role to play as one of the strongest driving forces for cross-cultural interaction, understanding, mutual respect, and reconciliation.
Cover image credit: Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures.