The Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) has signed an agreement with Tourism WA to deliver the $4.6 million Aboriginal Tourism Development Program.
WAITOC Chair Robert Taylor said the program will be the largest economic development initiative managed by an Aboriginal tourism organisation in Australia.
Mr Taylor said WAITOC was pleased to be working with Tourism WA to deliver this innovative project.
“The Aboriginal Tourism Development Program will deliver good economic outcomes for the State and, just as importantly, it will provide the social dividend of supporting Aboriginal communities and people to build stronger more sustainable tourism enterprises, many of which keep families together on country.”
The program features two key elements – marketing and business and product development.
The marketing component will generate awareness of WA’s Aboriginal tourism experiences as well as help export-ready product gain exposure and build relationships in global travel-trade distribution channels.
The product development stream will provide up to 15 market-ready and five emerging businesses access to product and business development support. Business coaches will work with each operator to develop an action plan which will aim to move operators towards export ready status and sustainability.
Mr Taylor said the program would have a particular focus on the Kimberley and the broader South West regions.
“The Kimberley is a leader in Aboriginal tourism experiences and businesses and we need to ensure that the region continues to deliver on visitor expectations,” he said.
“However there is an urgent need to see growth in the number and type of Aboriginal tourism experiences in the southern regions and towns that receive high volumes of interstate and international visitors.”
The Aboriginal Tourism Development program is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions.
Mr Taylor said while the nature of Royalties for Regions meant businesses in the Perth metropolitan region could not participate in the program, WAITOC has just implemented a Perth and South West business coaching initiative and all Aboriginal tourism businesses will leverage from the marketing activities of the ATDP.
Expressions of Interest in the program are now open, closing at 4pm on Friday, September 18, 2015. Selection will be based on competitive evaluation of the EOI applications. EOI forms can be downloaded from the WAITOC website at www.waitoc.com
Ms Renata Lowe
+61 (0)419 921 946
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