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WAITOC's Welcome to Broome

Mar 9, 2017 -- Posted by : admin

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Visitors to Western Australia’s Kimberley region are now greeted on arrival at Broome Airport with a vibrant Aboriginal cultural welcome message and a choice of over 30 tours, camps and activities throughout the region.

The prominent 3-metre wide welcome sign greets visitors in the local Yawuru Aboriginal language and invites them on a fascinating journey, guiding them into the rich cultural depths of this ancient land – rather than just ‘travelling through’. “Welcoming visitors to country is an integral part of our culture and is generally staged as a ceremony” said Neil McKenzie (local Yawuru Aboriginal elder in Broome). “It helps non-indigenous people to recognise our culture and history”. The promotion was launched with a local ceremonial dance group performed by Yawuru dancers aged from one to ten years old.

In the remote north of Western Australia, the spectacularKimberleyregion features unrivalled scenery, unique flora and fauna, and a richAboriginalculture. Around 40% of the region’s population are Aboriginal people, comprising a vast range of language groups, each with their own unique story and heritage. With the steady growth of Aboriginal cultural camps and tour businesses, the opportunities for visitors and locals to connect with the oldest living culture on earth are as unique and diverse as the landscapes.

Australian tourism research* has revealed that currently only 20% of visitors participate in an Aboriginal cultural experience whilst on holiday in WA, whereas over 60% would participate if it were “readily available”.

The new welcome sign and accompanying brochure – available at over 50 outlets in Broome, 180 outlets in Perth and at visitor centres throughout Western Australia is set to boost the range of promotions conducted by WAITOC - the peak not for profit association representing Aboriginal tourism in Western Australia - and to address the gap in public awareness of the vast range of cultural tours and activities that are available.

WAITOC supports the development and promotion of Aboriginal tourism business ventures in Western Australia. The Council believes that tourism is a unique industry in that it allows Aboriginal people to participate at a real and meaningful level, while still maintaining and valuing their cultural heritage. Aboriginal tour guides lead visitors across a fascinating cultural divide which would be impossible to cross unassisted and which is unrivalled anywhere in the world.

* Source – IVS Tourism Australia International Visitor Survey

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©2017  Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council