Posted by admin on October 31, 2016


With Asian holiday makers flocking to Australia, Indigenous tour operators are getting ready to reap the rewards.International short-term visitor arrivals to Australia hit the highest level on record in April, according to the most recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).There were 610,800 visitor arrivals during April, an increase of 10.6 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year, with visitors from China and its Asian neighbours leading the charge.Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said Aboriginal tourism experiences were highly valued by international visitors."They are fascinated by the story of the 40,000 years and the world's longest living civilisation," Mr Hall said."But unfortunately they do sometimes come away disappointed about not having as much exposure to Aboriginal tourism experiences … as what they were hoping for."Mr Hall said accessibility was an issue as visitors wanted an "authentic experience" and most of those experiences are concentrated in the north of Australia."It's important that we have more of those experiences on offer around the state, and for it to be authentic it has to be local."In the tiny town of Dumbleyung, in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 267 kilometres south-east of Perth, Grant and Anne Riley have just opened Wuddi Cultural Tours, offering small groups time with passionate Indigenous Australians.The couple are among those Indigenous tour operators offering an experience to visitors and school groups that will enrich their experience of the country.The aim of Wuddi Cultural Tours is to keep the local stories and culture of the Noongar people alive, and to pass on knowledge to the next generation."This is where we are from, we are recognised as the group from this area and there is pretty ancient history here and it runs deep," Mr Riley told ABC Great Southern radio."We need our children to know our culture."Mr Riley said, on his tours, guests visited untouched sites and connected the sites and the artefacts to stories of the area and the local people."We do a lot of hands-on stuff and that is the way they like it, they can see the way the Aboriginal person thought about this country, when they took something they had to always replace it or move to another area and let that regrow."It is a beautiful culture."