• Local tour operators want to show tourists an "authentic Indigenous experience" (Courtesy Tourism Australia) (NITV)Source: NITV
The Indigenous tourism sector is hoping to capitalise on increasing numbers of international visitors to Australia that has earned the country more than $6 billion over the past year.
By
Nevanka McKeon

Source:
NITV News
5 Aug 2015 - 4:09 PM  UPDATED 12 Aug 2015 - 6:50 PM

Aboriginal tourist agencies said they wanted overseas travellers to Australia to know about an "authentic Indigenous experience".

Visitors to Australia sat at a 12-month high mid year with tourists from China forming the fastest growing inbound tourist market,

Iwara Travel director Steven Satour, who comes from the Central Desert and now books Indigenous-specific tours from Sydney, said business was good. But he added that he was concerned that too many international visitors were bypassing what he calls the "authentic Indigenous experience".

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"By 'Indigenous experience', they're not wanting to go to a museum, art and go to a pop up store along George Street that's not run by Aboriginal people and selling manufactured artefacts like boomerangs and things like this," Mr Satour said. "They're wanting something really authentic that's run by Aboriginal people."

Recent criticism followed from the latest Indigenous-themed promotional video from Tourism Australia. Like other small Aboriginal tourism operators, he said that most of the major tourism campaigns were too heavily focused on iconic attractions such as Uluru, Arnhem Land and the Great Barrier Reef.

"They're not wanting to go to a museum, art and go to a pop up store along George Street that's not run by Aboriginal people and selling manufactured artefacts like boomerangs"

Steven Satour said he would like attention and support given to what urban Aboriginal owners and operators had to offer.

"I work with a lot inbound tour operators who have been in Sydney for 20 plus years and they've been searching for Indigenous experiences in the city for a very long time but they haven't been able to find anybody to, to provide their customers with an experience."