VICTORIA will showcase its thriving Aboriginal tourism industry to the nation when it hosts the Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference (AITC) in Lorne later this year. The annual major conference will come to Victoria for the first time.
AITC will address key issues that impact Aboriginal tourism and explore opportunities to strengthen and develop more culturally authentic Aboriginal products and experiences. The theme for this year’s event is “Entrepreneurship – From little things big things grow”. The program will focus on the employment and training of Aboriginal people in regional and rural communities.
The conference is hosted by the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) and provides an opportunity for Indigenous tourism businesses to network and foster new partnerships within the industry. With big numbers of domestic and international delegates expected to attend, Victoria’s diverse offerings in Aboriginal tourism will take the spotlight.
From cultural events and open-air galleries to nature reserves and local tours with traditional owners – visitors to regional Victoria will experience the living history of South Eastern Australia’s first people reaching back more than 60,000 years.
The conference will also showcase the Great Ocean Road and provide a boost to local businesses and hotels, giving delegates the opportunity to explore more of the region during their stay. “We look forward to delivering the first Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference in Victoria and making it one of the most successful conferences since its inception 18 years ago,” WAITOC chief executive officer Robert Taylor said.
The state government has welcomed the news. “Hosting the Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference is a special opportunity to shine the light on our wonderful Aboriginal tourism experiences, welcome more visitors and bring more business to our region,” Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren said.
“We’re proud to bring this special event to Victoria for the first time and present our state’s rich offering of Indigenous culture and heritage to the world.” ATIC will take place in Lorne from October 30-November 2. For more information, head to aitc.org.au.