World Indigenous Tourism Summit Held in WA
The World Indigenous Tourism Summit (WITS), organised by the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA), and the WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC), was held in Perth 13 – 16 March, and was attended by GSDC representatives, and 5 Great Southern operators.
Based on the theme ‘Tourism and Indigenous Earth Wisdom Weaving the Future that Benefits All’, the summit brought together delegates from across Australia, as well as representatives from over 13 countries.
Presenters offered insight, advice and wisdom around challenges and opportunities in Indigenous tourism, sharing examples of tourism product development and delivery in their country and region, the benefits of partnerships with all sectors including government and business, and the importance of respecting the culture and land that sustains us. First Nation experiences of colonialism and trauma, the fight to keep culture alive, and the extreme threat to country and culture posed by climate change, were moving and important themes that arose frequently in presentations and panel discussions.
GSDC Board member Robbie Miniter and Regional Development Officer Pippa Hepburn attended on behalf of the GSDC, accompanied by 5 supported Great Southern delegates sponsored through the GSDC – Australia’s South West Tourism and Trade Partnership. The regional delegates expressed the value of the Summit for forming connections and learning about the experiences of other operators in the sector.