Kimberley Coastal Tourism Project Update – March, 2011
The Kimberley Coastal Tourism project has developed a knowledge exchange program to enhance Traditional Owners knowledge of tourism and cultural awareness products.
It is designed to motivate and encourage participants by being given the opportunity to learn from Indigenous tour operators from the Kimberley region.
As part of the exchange, Wilinggin Traditional Owners met with leading tour operator and senior Bunuba elder Dillon Andrews from Bungoolee Tours situated in the Fitzroy River area 400 kilometres west of Broome. As well as tours Dillon offers cultural awareness programs to employees in the tourism sector and at the nearby Argyle Diamond Mine. The exchange enabled them to gain an insight into how Indigenous tourism operates, get advice and learn new skills which they can utilise when setting-up their own tourism ventures and cultural awareness programs on Wilinggin country.
The second stage of the knowledge exchange involved Wilinggin Traditional Owners travelling to the Dampier Peninsula, 200 kilometres north of Broome to examine the successful tourism enterprises and cultural awareness programs that Bardi Jawi people have established in their area.
A variety of Indigenous businesses were selected to showcase their tourism product and involved both small business with one or two employees right through to the large operation of Kooljaman at Cape Leveque – an award winning Indigenous-operated eco tourism enterprise. The Bardi Jawi people shared their experiences in setting up their Indigenous tourism businesses and gave insight into how they went about developing their tourism product – what worked and didn’t work.
While they were on the Dampier Peninsula, Traditional Owners met with the Bardi Jawi Rangers and several elders to learn from their experiences establishing a cultural awareness program on their country.
The Kimberley Coastal Tourism Project is continuing to work with Wilinggin Traditional Owners and the Wunggurr Rangers to develop a cultural awareness product which is expected to be ready for delivery in 2011. The cultural awareness package will target the high-number of visitors that travel along the Gibb River Road as well as business that operate within the area.