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Published on : Friday, February 17, 2017
The Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) has embraced Western Australia’s National Political Party’s tourism election commitment to establish a Regional Aboriginal Experience Fund of AU$75 million over a five-year time span to unlock the potential of authentic indigenous tourism products.
WAITOC CEO Robert Taylor described the commitment as “a breath of fresh air for Aboriginal tourism”.
“I would like to see other political parties follow suit and put Aboriginal tourism at the forefront of their policy commitment and underline WAITOC’s vision to make Western Australia the market leader in Australia for Aboriginal experience tourism”, said Robert Taylor.
The proposed Regional Aboriginal Experience Fund would work alongside traditional owners and in collaboration with WAITOC to build and develop new product ideas and businesses, including achieving World Heritage Listing of the Burrup Peninsula, one of the most prolific and ancient indigenous art sites in the world with over 1 million petroglyphs dating back as far as the ice age.
WAITOC is currently implementing a $4.6 million Aboriginal Tourism Development Project, funded by the Department of Regional Development, which supports the growth and development of cultural tourism experiences in Western Australia’s Kimberley and South-West regions.
WAITOC Chairperson, Tahn Donovan, commented that “the Council has been working closely with industry stakeholders and partners to spread the message that Western Australia is no longer wait a while when it comes to Aboriginal tourism – with WAITOC being the leading state Aboriginal tourism organization in Australia”. “Western Australia is now way ahead”, she said.