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Demand for Australian Indigenous tourism

Demand for Australian Indigenous tourism
July 19, 2010

New research shows that over two million Australians participated in Indigenous tourism activities in 2009, staying 16 million nights and contributing $3 billion to the economy.

The Federal Government has released Indigenous Tourism in Australia: Profiling the Domestic Market, a report which assesses domestic demand for Indigenous tourism in Australia.

Australians who have an Indigenous tourism experience travel for longer on average (eight nights), spend more per trip ($1,440) and per night ($190) than Australians who do not have an Indigenous tourism experience.

Of all the Australians who participated in Indigenous tourism activities, 20% were retirees on self drive holidays, 16% were business travellers attending meetings and conventions, and 45% chose to participate while already on holiday. Australians participate in very few Indigenous tourism activities while travelling, indicating that Indigenous tourism is not something many Australians consider when planning a trip.

The most popular Indigenous tourism activities with Australians surveyed were seeing Indigenous art, craft or cultural displays (54%), visiting an Indigenous site or community (27%), visiting an Indigenous art gallery (24%), visiting an Indigenous cultural centre (22%) and having a personal experience or interaction with Indigenous people (20%).

Commenting on the report, Federal Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson stated "this report provides Australiaâs tourism industry with a detailed analysis of market gaps and opportunities which exist in Australia, promoting investment in and the development of Indigenous tourism businesses."

The report also examines opportunities for increasing Indigenous employment and participation in the tourism industry through increased marketing. Findings show that 16% of Indigenous visitors were business travellers, presenting opportunities for Indigenous tourism operators to profit from increased connections with the conference and events sector.

Minister Ferguson added "indigenous tourism supports many of our regional communities. Findings show that Australians who participated in Indigenous tourism were more likely to visit regional areas of the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia during their trip."

Report findings will be used by the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy Indigenous Working Group to present recommendations on ways the Australian Government can encourage Indigenous Australians to participate in the tourism industry.

The Indigenous Tourism in Australia: Profiling the Domestic Market report can be downloaded from www.ret.gov.au/tra

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