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Aboriginal Tourism Australia

Aboriginal Tourism Australia (ATA) is the main non-profit national organisation which promotes Indigenous tourism within the different parts of the Australian country. This association focuses on the promotion of Aboriginal tourism along with the economic, cultural and environmental concerns of the Aboriginal tribes of Australia. The Aboriginal Tourism Australia association comprises of members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Aboriginal Tourism Australia aims towards promoting cultural honour and authenticity across the tourism industry of Australia. ATA is a Company Limited by Guarantee and is registered under the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. Aboriginal Tourism Australia is a non-governmental association.

The key objectives of the Aboriginal Tourism Australia association are as follows:

  • to develop and formulate an accreditation process for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander tourism
  • to take all necessary steps which would enhance the development of Indigenous tourism and facilitate opportunities for economic development of the Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in the tourism industry
  • to represent and preserve the rights and profits of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders within the tourism industry
  • to emulate policies, programs and actions with federal, state and local governments and agencies which promote the needs of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders tourism from and to Australia
  • to make sure that the Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders are well-represented in all key industries
  • to promote and enhance the employment and training facilities for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in all areas of the tourism industry
  • to make sure that the cultural property rights of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders is known to the tourism industry

The most significant national programs undertaken by the Aboriginal Tourism Australia association are Business Development Symposium, Respecting Our Culture Tourism Development Program, Financial Management Guide, Stepping Stones for Tourism Workshops and Respecting Our Culture Coordinator System. These different programs help the Aboriginal Islanders to learn the various techniques of tourism development and promoting indigenous businesses. These programs also provide training to these islanders and provide financial assistance to help them in starting their own business.

There are about 300 Indigenous languages of Australia and each of these tribal groups has its own customs, beliefs and artistic differences. Each of these groups depicts stories in their artwork which are related to their clans. As a result, none of the groups follow the artistic tradition and designs of other group. These groups also do not support non-Aboriginal people trying to imitate their works of art. The main groups of Aboriginal works which are represented by the Aboriginal Tourism Australia include Arnhem Land, which is further divided into Western, North-east and Central Arnhem Land, Torres Strait Islands, Urban Aboriginal Art, Tiwi Islands, Kimberley, Queensland, Kimberley-Warlayirti artists and Central and Western Deserts. The artwork of each of these different provinces has its own peculiarities and specialities which is very different from that of the other. Most of these Aboriginal arts can be found at the commercial art galleries which have special collections of Aboriginal art. Most of these galleries are either owned by the Australian Indigenous Art Trade Association or the Australian Commercial Galleries Association.

Cathy Freeman, the famous Australian athlete is the brand ambassador of Aboriginal Tourism Australia.
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