Aboriginal Tourism in New South Wales increases by 60%
The Aboriginal tourism sector in the New South Wales has increased by 60 percent in the past year making it one of the most popular states for international visitors looking for indigenous cultural experience.
One success story is Wajaana Yaam–Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours on the Coffs Coast, which was started by Clark Webb. The tour company offered stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking combined with the stories and language of his people — the Gumbaynggirr.
Webb said, “Through Wajaana Yaam Adventure tours we do stand-up paddle boarding in three of our Solitary Islands Marine Park creeks, Coffs Creek, Moonee Creek and Red Rock. We teach a bit of our language Gumbaynggirr, we sample some seasonal bush foods, we do some snorkelling. We also talk about some of our more recent histories where some of the Aboriginal camps were for a long time and when people were forcibly removed. We explain our contemporary Aboriginal experience. Our culture’s like in pieces and for us it’s like a jigsaw puzzle where we’re trying to reconnect everything. Our old people were cutting canoes from trees for all those thousands of years and standing up in them and paddling them along. So stand-up paddling was actually created here.”
According to Webb the tourism industry is really important to the local Aboriginal community of New South Wales.
“We’ve had businesses, schools, leisure groups, executives and also government agencies that are taking a really keen interest. International interest is also growing rapidly with tourists wanting to experience and Aboriginal tour. We’ve taken people out from Tibet, from Singapore, Belgium, Germany and Russia, mainly from the Asian and European countries. People from all corners of the world are coming to Scotts Head and the Nambucca. They actually get to walk and experience the most ancient culture in the world.”
Source: Travel and Tour World
Mark Bibby Jackson
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