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Australian tourism industry to...

Australian tourism industry to plug gap in indigenous areas

The Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference in Bunbury has highlighted that there is a gap in coverage for the Goldfields-Esperance region of the country.

Located in Western Australia (WA), there were only four people from Australia's Golden Outback region, which is extremely few considering more than 150 people were in attendance overall, reports Yahoo News.

One of these was Djaltjraak elder Doc Reynolds who owns and runs an Esperance-based Aboriginal education and tour business in WA.

He has said that despite the lack of information and support in this area currently, the WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council and Tourism WA are trying to amend this and bring Aboriginal tourism to the Goldfields.

Most indigenous tourism activities and similar experiences are found in Kimberley instead of in the Goldfields-Esperance region. Similarly, this area is also lacking in tourism businesses to help promote its assets.

However, this doesn't mean that there isn't money there, in fact Mr Reynolds believes there is a lot of profit to be made from tourism industry in Aboriginal WA.

Giving his thoughts, he commented: "80 per cent of international tourists want an Aboriginal experience when they visit Australia."

So the interest is there for the Aboriginal areas of the country, but sadly around 60 per cent of these travellers do not get to enjoy this aspect.

By investing in tourism in this area Mr Reynolds says that the benefits will include profit and positive changes to "the land, not just to the operator but in social aspects for community".

At the conference itself, tourism minister Kim Hames added that everyone who comes to Australia should be able to enjoy an "authentic Aboriginal experience" and this is a large part of the reason as to why this industry should be expanded.

He plans for all of WA's 120 Aboriginal tourism businesses to be marketed on both a domestic and international scale. One of those included is Mr Reynold's business and another in the area that comprises cross-cultural tours on a farm.

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