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Inaugural indigenous tourism conference starts

Inaugural indigenous tourism conference starts
March 28, 2012

The inaugural Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference (PAITC) commences today with around 150 delegates from across the region and the globe, meeting up in Darwin.

The conference, being held until Friday 30th March, will consider the role and future of Indigenous tourism. With the title of 'Tourism and Indigenous People - Enriching our Future Together', PAITC offers a powerful line up of speakers with insights into some of the trends, opportunities and challenges of indigenous tourism in the region.

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) Chairman, John King explains "PAITC will be a truly inspiring event that offers the tourism industry an opportunity to engage with and expand the profile of Indigenous tourism, particularly in the Pacific Asia region.

"This conference is not only for Indigenous tourism operators, but for organisations representing Indigenous peoples, governments and government agencies, tourism organisations, operators, NGO's, Universities and research bodies.

"We are pleased to welcome Terri Janke, with significant experience as a lawyer specialising in Indigenous intellectual property, cultural heritage, media and business law, as our conference Master of Ceremonies. Terri's experience and contribution to our Indigenous community was recognised last year when she was awarded NAIDOC Person of the Year."

King said PAITC offered an impressive and diverse line-up of speakers from a range of Indigenous and cultural related organisations, adding "speakers like Professor Gerry Bodeker from Oxford University, who is a highly regarded academic in the field of traditional medicine and Joanna Chronis who is a leading businesswoman in destination management focused on Indigenous product, will bring practical and inspirational knowledge to the conference.

"Our keynote speaker, Anita Mendiratta, has an intimate understanding of how tourism can become a sustainable, meaningful and empowering driver for Indigenous communities."

Other PAITC speakers include:

• Butch Bradleyfrom NZ Maori Tourism, Butch has significant experience in organisational development, strategic planning and Maori economic development.
• Peter Cochrane, Director of National Parks has an intricate knowledge of building effective relationships with traditional owners in the joint management parks.
• Shane Edwards, General Manager Mecure Cairns Harbourside is the Indigenous Champion for Accor Hotels in Quensland, providing a critical link between the business and the people of Cape York and the Torres Strait.
• Mark Olive, and native food ambassador and Indigenous celebrity chef has built an international reputation for his ability fuse native food and culture with contemporary lifestyle cooking.
• Anna Pollock is a pioneer in advocating environmental, ethical and philanthropic standards in the tourism industry.
• Ben Sherman from the Native Tourism Alliance is a leader in the development of American Indian tourism efforts in the United States.
• Mike Tamaki, Director of Global Storytellers and consultant of one of the most awarded and recognised private Indigenous tourism operators in Australia.
• Dr Pascal Tremblay of Charles Sturt University who has undertaken extensive research in the area of Indigenous tourism development.
• Jingjing Yang whose research has looked at social conflict theory in identifying tourism impacts on indigenous communities.

King adds "this program offers delegates unique access to top international speakers and the opportunity to exchange experiences, knowledge and understanding.

"I look forward to welcoming speakers and delegates to this, the first, Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference."

PAITC is a joint initiative of ATEC, Tourism Northern Territory and the Pacific Asia Travel Association with the support of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

For more information go to

Image courtesy of Lirrwi Tourism.



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