The third Aboriginal Tour Operators Networking Workshop has been held in Narooma on the NSW South Coast this week to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2013-2016.
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase thanked the Aboriginal Tourism operators who attended and said: “These networking workshops are important for operators to build their business networks, share ideas and receive an update on the excellent progress that has been made on the implementation of the NSW Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan over the last 12 months.”
“Since its release in August 2013, 19 of the 26 actions in the Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan have been completed or are ongoing. Of the remaining seven actions, four are in progress and three are in planning,” she said.
Introduced under Destination NSW’s Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2013-2016 and a recommendation of the NSW Government’s Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan, the networking workshops provide operators with an opportunity to develop their vision for Aboriginal tourism with the support of Destination NSW.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner said: “Aboriginal experiences are an important feature of NSW tourism and are becoming increasingly sought-after by both our domestic and international visitors with 678,000 domestic and 244,000 international visitors experiencing Aboriginal tourism in NSW in the year ending June 2014.”
“In fact for the year ending June 2014, 28 per cent of all international visitors who participated in an Aboriginal tourism experience did so while in NSW,” he said.
At the request of NSW Aboriginal Tourism Operators, Destination NSW delivered the workshop in partnership with Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness to provide insights into the workings of a successful Aboriginal tourism business.
“There are now many fantastic Aboriginal experiences to be had in Sydney and across Regional NSW, from cultural tours on quad bikes on the North Coast, immersive walkabout tours in the Blue Mountains and the Black Markets on Bare Island in Sydney,” Ms Chipchase said.
“NSW Aboriginal tourism operators provide visitors with an opportunity to explore the roots of Australia’s Aboriginal culture which is the oldest living culture in the world,” she said.
Koori Communications and Training Director, Peter Cooley, said: “We have been working with Destination NSW since we started our small tour – Catch N Cook. Since then we have gone on to run the Black Markets on Bare Island in Sydney.”
“Through the whole process Destination NSW and its Aboriginal Tourism Sector Specialist have been by our side, assisting us to grow our business with friendly, professional advice,” he said.
The NSW Government, through Destination NSW also supports [email protected], an exhibition of Aboriginal art across the Hunter Valley, Corroboree Sydney, Australia’s major Indigenous festival which was successfully held for the first time in November 2013 and the Yabun Festival, which is held in Sydney every January and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s arts and culture.
The Narooma workshop was held on the 9th and 10th of September at the Island View Beach Resort.