Indigenous Business Australia and the Northern Territory government have announced a new partnership to support the NT's Aboriginal tourism industry.
The NT Aboriginal Tourism Accelerator program is a specialist business program delivered by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) to assist Aboriginal entrepreneurs in establishing and expanding sustainable tourism businesses.
The program, announced Wednesday at the second annual Northern Territory Aboriginal Tourism Forum in Alice Springs, is open to Aboriginal Territorians and NT-based Aboriginal businesses and organisations (greater than 50 per cent Aboriginal owned).
Participants will undertake formal training, learn practical skills and have access to advisors, coaches and networks.
Applications open 15 November and close 1 December with the program commencing in 2024. More information and applications are available online.
IBA director of Community & Customer Experience, Arrernte woman Stella de Cos, said the NT Aboriginal Tourism Accelerator Program is "more than just a program; it's about empowering our First Nations entrepreneurs, fostering innovation, and preserving our deep cultural heritage that is infused in the land, sea and sky of this country".
"Expanding the opportunities for our Aboriginal businesses to share culture and country with the rest of the world is ultimately a success for everyone involved," she said.
"Our people are the original and ongoing custodians of this land, and the deep understanding and knowledge they have is what makes these opportunities so important."
NT Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Joel Bowden the program supports the government's "commitment to the growth and development of the Aboriginal tourism industry and building an Aboriginal workforce".
"The Northern Territory is a premier destination for authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences, visitors to the NT have an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in authentic stories, artworks and history spanning more than 60,000 years," he said.
"We're thrilled to partner with Indigenous Business Australia who have an excellent track record in delivering successful accelerator programs and supporting Aboriginal business development, and look forward to seeing new and innovative business ideas come from the program."
More than 100 participants attended Wednesday's NT Aboriginal Tourism forum, which "celebrates the NT's Aboriginal tourism sector and provides an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences as well as network with other Aboriginal entrepreneurs, industry and government", organisers say.