Tourists thirsting for authentic cultural experiences

The WA government said visitors were looking for authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences.

Aboriginal tourism operators are wanted to help showcase the jewel in Perth’s crown, the Kings Park and Botanic Garden, amid growing demand from visitors for more Noongar culture.

Local businesses employing, owned, or run by Aboriginal people have been invited to apply to provide new commercial visitor experiences in the park, which sits at the city’s doorstep and is one of the biggest inner city parks in the world.

The WA government said domestic and international visitors were looking for authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences. Local park users, too, were wanting a greater understanding of Noongar culture.

“Kings Park, known as Kaarta Koomba, is a very significant place for the Whadjuk Noongar people, with rich Aboriginal history, connection to country and cultural stories to share,” WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said.

“We hope to attract a range of operators who will offer a variety of experiences that celebrate this unique and fascinating part of WA culture. Ideas include walking tours, storytelling, dance, art making or bush tucker experiences.

“This is a fantastic economic opportunity for Aboriginal people and provides great benefits for Kings Park, its visitors and the WA community.”

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the government wants WA to be the premier state in Australia to experience Aboriginal culture and tourism.

“Seventy-eight per cent of visitors to WA in 2016-17 expressed an interest in Aboriginal tourism, and this enthusiasm has grown 19 per cent over the past five years,” Mr Papalia said.

“With the majority of Aboriginal tourism businesses currently located outside the Perth metropolitan area, this Kings Park initiative presents a great opportunity to expand offerings in the city.”

Information on how to apply is available at http://www.dbca.wa.gov.au/eoi

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