Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Former Minister for Health; Tourism

    National spotlight on Aboriginal tourism

    10/03/2016 8:00 AM
    • 8th Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference opens in Bunbury
    • More than 100 industry members expected to attend
    • Supported by the State Government through Tourism WA 

    More than 100 members of Australia's tourism industry will gather in Bunbury today for the 8th Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference.


    Tourism Minister Kim Hames, who officially opened the conference, said Australia's Aboriginal culture was one of the nation's biggest tourism assets.


    "Indigenous tourism is already well-established as one of Australia's unique selling points as a global destination," Dr Hames said.


    "Aboriginal tourism is important in Western Australia, as it not only helps to protect and preserve traditional culture but also encourages communities to become economically viable by providing income and jobs."


    The Minister said the State Government, through Tourism WA, recognised Aboriginal tourism had great potential for growth.


    "Research shows there is an unmet demand for Aboriginal tourism experiences in this State with 74 per cent of visitors interested in taking part in Aboriginal tourism experiences but only 21 per cent having the opportunity to do so," he said.


    "Providing every visitor to WA with the opportunity to enjoy an authentic Aboriginal experience is an integral component of the State Government's strategy to grow the value of the tourism industry to $12 billion by 2020."


    Dr Hames said to ensure this goal was achieved, Tourism WA was focused on helping to build quality products, ensuring appropriate infrastructure was established, building consumer awareness through marketing and exploring potential regulatory change.


    "The Government has also invested $4.6 million through Royalties for Regions to the Aboriginal Tourism Development Program, which is implemented by Tourism WA and the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council," he said.


    "Under the program, all of the State's 120 Aboriginal tourism businesses will be marketed domestically and internationally and 17 to 20 businesses will receive business advice and mentoring over the next three years to see them grow and thrive."


    Fact File

    Minister's office - 6552 5300