Western Australia is a step closer to becoming Australia’s premier destination for Aboriginal tourism with the announcement of the $20 million Aboriginal Tourism Fund and a new plan announced at the WA Regional Tourism Conference in Geraldton today.
The Tjina: Western Australian Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan was developed by Tourism Western Australia and other government agencies with the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council and the Aboriginal tourism industry.
Research* shows 81 per cent of visitors to WA want an Aboriginal experience, however only 17 per cent access one, showing huge demand and opportunities to grow the sector.
The four-year plan, backed by the $20 million Aboriginal Tourism Fund, will support a range of initiatives including:
- the development of new Aboriginal tourism experiences;
- more Aboriginal people working in the tourism industry;
- the development of administration and booking systems to support Aboriginal tourism businesses;
- up to three new Camping with Custodian campgrounds; and
- an increase in tourism experiences on the Dampier Peninsula, after the Cape Leveque Road was sealed last year.
The Tjina: Western Australian Aboriginal Action Plan 2021 – 2025 is available at https://www.tourism.wa.gov.au
*SOURCE – Visitor Experience and Expectations Research 2019/20
As stated by Tourism Minister David Templeman:
“Western Australia is fortunate to have many passionate Aboriginal tourism operators who share their knowledge and history.
“The $20 million Aboriginal Tourism Fund was a commitment made by the Premier during the election campaign and I am excited to confirm this funding today.
“Research shows incredible demand for Aboriginal experiences – the Tjina Plan will make sure people will get to have that experience they are looking for while they are travelling around WA.
“This funding will support the development of authentic Aboriginal experiences outlined in the Tjina plan and work towards making our State Australia’s top Aboriginal tourism destination.”
As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson:
“Aboriginal tourism is a fundamental part of a resilient tourism industry, creating jobs and economic prosperity across urban and regional communities.
“The term ‘Tjina’ is recognised across multiple Aboriginal languages, meaning ‘discoveries by foot’ – discovery of our future, our pathways and our potential.
“The Tjina plan will give our Government guidance as we grow economic, employment and social outcomes through Aboriginal tourism over the next four years. Together with the Aboriginal Tourism Fund, this will support the Aboriginal community and those who want to be more involved in the tourism industry.”