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Tourism strategy to boost Indigenous involvement

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The Indigenous Tourism Advisory Panel (ITAP) is developing a new strategy to boost the number of Indigenous Australians involved in the tourism industry. The strategy, developed in conjunction with the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), focuses on developing the number of tourism enterprises owned and operated by Indigenous Australians. The ATEC has already accepted 15 Indigenous-owned tourism businesses as new members and facilitated their expansion through ATEC national business workshops, trade shows and other tourism events. The plan will enable more Indigenous Australians to see their share of profits from the $26 billion inbound tourism sector, according to ATEC managing director Matt Hingerty. "Succeeding in tourism is all about making the most of your unique qualities, and there is nothing more uniquely Australian than our Indigenous culture," he said. "For the Australian inbound tourism industry to grow, we need to innovate and develop new experiences to serve customer demand. Previous studies have shown that many international tourists expect an Indigenous tourism experience, but may go home disappointed for lack of suitable product here in Australia." Hingerty said the ITAP strategy was more than a think-tank. "[It] is a real bricks-and-mortar job and business development program. The tourism industry has always been a strong supporter of Indigenous employment and opportunity, but now we are taking it to the next level." The ITAP and ATEC had already engaged with bodies such as Indigenous Business Australia, Tourism Australia and major Australian companies such as Qantas to get the strategy underway.

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