Indigenous tourism has had a significant impact on WA’s economy, providing a strong financial and social contribution to the State, new research has found.
The snapshot by Tourism Western Australia and the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) has revealed Aboriginal tourism businesses contributed to the State’s growth “contributing to the economic sustainability of regional WA”.
“This research focuses on the impact that Aboriginal tourism has on the State’s economy, and shows how it highlights traditional culture while creating employment opportunities within Western Australia,” Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said.
$43.8 million was added to WA’s Gross State Product, with $20.1 million a direct contribution and $23.7 million indirectly added.
Nearly 340 full-time jobs are also generated, contributing nearly $30 million to WA incomes.
The study also indicated Aboriginal tourism provided employment opportunities, strengthening pride and had brought different cultures together.
Mr Papalia said Aboriginal Tourism has grown significantly but still has the opportunity to grow.
“Seventy-eight per cent of visitors to WA in 2016-17 expressed an interest in Aboriginal tourism, and this enthusiasm has grown 19 per cent over the past five years,” he said.
“However, participation levels remain low at 21 per cent, and have declined five per cent in five years, showing that there is a massive gap between interest and actual participation.”
“There is a strong opportunity to capitalise on the increasing interest in Aboriginal tourism, and the State Government, through Tourism WA and in partnership with WAITOC, is working on a number of initiatives to help further grow the sector in the State.”