Aboriginal Territorians are the custodians of the world's oldest living culture; they and their families have lived, hunted, held ceremonies and practiced culture on country for over 65,000 years. Aboriginal cultures are a significant draw card for international and domestic visitors to the NT, with people from all over the world coming to immerse themselves in the rich and diverse cultural traditions of Aboriginal Territorians.
Within the Northern Territory, Aboriginal tourism is a pivotal component enabling an authentic cultural experience. Visitors are interested in a range of experiences providing them with a greater understanding of the unique connection Aboriginal people have with their country.
With Aboriginal ownership of approximately 50% of land and around 84% of the coastline in the NT, we are uniquely positioned to provide visitors with exceptional cultural tourism experiences. Research indicates that there is a gap between the market demand for and supply of Aboriginal cultural experiences in the NT, despite market perceptions that the Territory is the foremost provider of Aboriginal cultural tourism in Australia.
Guided by the Aboriginal Tourism Committee and the Northern Territory's Aboriginal Tourism Strategy 2020 - 2030, Tourism NT is working to create new opportunities and nurture Aboriginal enterprises to create flexible long term development pathways, mentorships and industry partnerships. Enabling better access and high quality visitor services and infrastructure will attract new visitors to the sector, and in turn support economic and employment opportunities in regional and remote communities across the Territory. Respectful sharing of our Aboriginal cultures will deliver sustainable experiences for our visitors and deliver significant social and cultural outcomes for Aboriginal people.
For further information please contact Tourism NT's Aboriginal Sector Manager on [email protected] or 08 8951 8584.
Interested in hearing from some Aboriginal tourism operators?
Jane Runyu-Fordimail, CEO of Nitmiluk Tours, shares her key learnings during her three decades with the business. Nitmiluk Tours has grown to become one of the most successful tourism operations in the Northern Territory and indeed Australia, which has been recognised at the highest-level with Nitmiluk Tours winning three gold awards at the 2019 Australian Tourism Awards. The case study is intended to provide information and support for Aboriginal tourism entrepreneurs and operators thinking of starting up a similar business, and discusses the importance of business and cultural mentorship and planning for future growth. Read the full case study
Victor Cooper (Guruwalu), traditional owner of Kakadu and owner operator of Ayal Aboriginal Tours Kakadu shares his tourism business journey. Victor and his family commenced Ayal in 2008, there were key learnings, and requirements needed before commencing a tourism business. Victor hopes that this information will support other Aboriginal people to consider the tourism industry. Read the full case study
Christine Breaden, traditional owner and partner Peter Abbott from Karrke Aboriginal Culture Tour share some insights on their business journey, and some helpful learnings which they hope will assist other Aboriginal Organisations. Karrke is a Central Australian business which commenced in 2014. Read the full case study
Graham Kenyon, traditional owner and custodian of Limilngan-Wulna land and his wife Lynette Kenyon, owners of Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours share their business learnings to assist other Aboriginal organisations. Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours is a 100% Aboriginal owned and operated family business that commenced in 2008. Read the full case study