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ATC May 28th 2001 

Australia must focus on the development of more Aboriginal tourism product to meet the growing demand from international visitors, Australian Tourist Commission (ATC),
Managing Director John Morse said today. 

“Inquiries on Aboriginal tourism in ATC office overseas is growing exponentially and we need to develop this sector to ensure we can match the interest with suitable products.

“Australia needs to provide a greater depth and range of Aboriginal tourism product to meet the growing demand of international visitors who want to experience Indigenous culture during their holiday down under.

“International awareness and interest in Aboriginal tourism has increased following the Sydney Olympic Games with Aboriginal themes in the Opening and closing ceremonies and Cathy Freeman’s gold medal race receiving global media attention.

“Research indicates that between 85 to 95 per cent of international visitors to Australia wanted to experience Aboriginal tourism on subsequent visits to Australia.

Mr Morse said the ATC had formed an Aboriginal Tourism Advisory Council (ATAC) to develop the Aboriginal Tourism Marketing Strategy to be implemented by the Commission.

“This strategy will ultimately facilitate the development of national standards and product Australia wide,” he said.

“It will help to raise the awareness of cultural issues and assist in the international marketing of Aboriginal tourism experiences. “The development of a business mentor program for Aboriginal tourism businesses as well as a criteria for Aboriginal images used in international marketing initiatives will also be addressed.”

The Council will bring together leaders in Aboriginal tourism with representation from all States and Territories.

Mr Morse said the number of Aboriginal tourism products at ATE this year had increased by 50 per cent, with new product exhibiting from New South Wales and the Northern Territory.