We proposed a new way to grow Aboriginal tourism. Top-down approaches to foster Aboriginal tourism have largely failed to lift Aboriginal tourism performance in Australia. Aboriginal tourism in NSW remains an infant industry trapped in a cycle of dedicated small-scale Aboriginal entrepreneurs struggling against long odds.
Consequently, strong demand for Aboriginal tourism experiences by international visitors largely goes unsatisfied, while Australians continue to show very low purchases of Aboriginal tourism experiences.
This proposal offers an alternative, forensically refined and bottom-up approach inspired by regional Aboriginal This proposal followed an audit of 21 Aboriginal tourism operators in north western NSW by SMA Tourism. This audit resulted in the ranking of the operators most ready and most likely to capitalise on an investment to expand and enrich their Aboriginal tourism business.
The proposal focussed on five initiatives to enrich and expand a suite of existing high potential businesses to achieve an economy of scale not yet achieved in NSW. It proposed to create success stories that act as exemplars and create Aboriginal tourism mentors. This approach and its proposed rigorous evaluation provide a model for a new era of Aboriginal tourism growth in regional Australia.
The $7.4M proposal integrated the provision of accommodation, infrastructure and training with a marketing platform that would promote and allow for bookings from the one website. The proposal included detailed development costing, visitation and financial forecasts for each operator, and an economic impact assessment for the region. The financial forecasting revealed that:
- Most of the businesses to be financially self-sufficient from the first year in operation, and all by the second year
- There is enough profitability to sufficiently market, meet all costs, cover taxation obligations set aside funds for continuous renewal
- The investment immediately converts the combined net debt of the four businesses$232,493 associated with the Base Case, to a break even point in Year 1, and then almost$1M Net Profit by Year 5.
To support the business case, we developed a prospectus and an investor video. To view the business case, prospectus and video go to https://alc.org.au/nenw-aboriginal-tourism/.
Introducing accommodation to existing businesses would significantly lift level of experiential immersion, and business profitability