While “eco-tourism” is a great thing (when done right!), “community-based indigenous ecotourism” is even better! Buzzwords aside, the basic idea is that when a community comes together to create a tourism project, rather than an outside organization, the community will have a chance to have more ownership over the project itself and its profits. When the community is an indigenous community, the project can celebrate cultures and traditions native to the region.
Thatâ€™s why I was excited to read today about Aboriginal Tourism Australia (ATA).
From their website:
Aboriginal Tourism Australia (ATA) is the national association for Indigenous tourism and is committed to ensuring that Aboriginal tourism experiences are enriched by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values.
Remember the three R’s
Relationship â€“ Indigenous people have a very strong relationship and connectionto the land and water, which is inherited from their ancestral heroes of the Dreaming and Stars of Tagai.
Responsibility â€“ Relationship carries important, and sometimes secret, cultural,spiritual and land care responsibilities, often called ‘caring for Country’.
Respect â€“ Respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander beliefs associated with Country and culture. As a visitor, respect the wishes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and restrictions that are necessary for cultural reasons.
(ATA) has a wonderful publication called Incredible Journeys, which is a 32-page pamphlet which talks about participating members of Aboriginal Tourism Australia and presents Indigenous cultural tourism options available across Australia.
Thanks to Planeta.com for this great tip!