WAITOC is the peak not-for-profit association representing Aboriginal tourism in Western Australia.
Deputy Chair Commissioner Gaye McMath said the City’s support complements the continued growth of Aboriginal tourism in Perth city and surrounding suburbs. 
“Research shows there is a strong desire for more cultural tourism experiences in Perth and the City is responding by showing leadership in supporting Aboriginal tourism in the city and wider Perth metro area,” she said.
This year, WAITOC has developed a pilot program ‘Aboriginal Tourism Export Initiative-Perth 2019’ to develop new and expanded export-ready operations for Aboriginal tourism in the Perth region.
“The aim of this program is to build a cluster of robust and passionate Aboriginal businesses within greater Perth,” Deputy Chair Commissioner McMath said.
Leading the way for a broader state-wide initiative enhancing the economic impact of Aboriginal cultural tourism in Western Australia, the program will aim to build on previous Aboriginal tourism business development programs delivered by WAITOC in partnership with the City of Perth in 2017 and 2018. 
Both programs resulted in highly successful mentoring outcomes for participating Aboriginal tourism businesses, with program recipient Go Cultural winning gold in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category at the 2018 Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards. 
This year, WAITOC will offer eight Perth-based Aboriginal tourism operators the opportunity to participate in the pilot program. 
WAITOC CEO Robert Taylor said increased support from the City would strengthen sector development to deliver authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences in the inner-city.
“The work completed by WAITOC and funded by City of Perth, Tourism WA and Indigenous Business Australia over the past two years has been successful in creating new Aboriginal tourism businesses in the Perth CBD to help close the gap that currently exists,” he said. 
“While there are more than 100 Aboriginal tourism experiences in WA to explore, only 29 per cent of these are working in the international arena. This new export-ready program will help increase this number in Perth, where most tourists visit.
“It is an exciting time for the Aboriginal tourism sector to become a key player in the tourism industry - showcasing our unique point of difference to the rest of the world.”
Commissioner McMath said the City of Perth’s sponsorship aligned perfectly with priorities in the City’s Strategic Community Plan 2029 and the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
“The RAP focuses on creating sustainable business and employment opportunities for Aboriginal peoples and provides visitors to Perth with the opportunity to participate in a unique cultural experience,” the Deputy Chair Commissioner said.
Issued by: Brooke Hunter, Strategic Communications Advisor, 0448 610 834, brooke.hunter@cityofperth.wa.gov.au 


Background information:

Three in four visitors would be interested in experiencing an Aboriginal tourism experience or activity if it were easily accessible in WA, however only a quarter of visitors participated in Aboriginal tourism during their WA holiday. 
      -      Visitor Experience and Expectations Research survey on Aboriginal tourism 2017-18. 

Tourism WA statistics show 82 per cent of international tourists would like to experience an Aboriginal tourism product, however only 26 per cent get to experience this. 
- Tourism WA.