Aboriginal Tourism in Australia and Canada
Origins of Aboriginal Tourism
It has emerged that, indigenous tourism has become a significant ‘getaway’ in which it has enabled people to develop confidence in the true meaning of life through maintaining a desirable live balance. Currently, indigenous tourism is regarded to as one of the most reliable ways of preserving indigenous culture, which is facing the threat of extinction owing to the forces of globalization characterized by the absorption of some cultures. The significance of indigenous tourism can be explained by the phenomenon of survival among the aboriginal people who passed over their knowledge onto others.
In reality, indigenous tourism is kept alive by its commercial aspect, although this aspect endangers the purity and delicacy of the aboriginal community, especially when inappropriate attitudes are adopted. Therefore, this paper will provide a comprehensive overview of the development of indigenous tourism in Australia and Canada. Concisely, it will focus on the principal approaches employed in establishing indigenous tourism such as the attraction of both domestic and international tourists.
Keywords: aboriginal tourism, indigenous tourism and authenticity
Australia and Canada were the most suitable countries for conducting the comparative analysis of the topic in question. The rationale for choosing these two countries was that, evaluating the issue in states rather than local government offers an array of perspectives for identifying similarities and differences in the principal approaches adopted by the two countries in establishing indigenous tourism. However, it is worth noting that, this form of tourism is defined in different terms, in the two countries. For instance, Canadians refer indigenous tourism as native tourism, whereas Australians refer to it as aboriginal or indigenous tourism (Zeppel 2006).
Despite the general notion that tourism is driven by a universal set of reasons, there are several aspects, which make different forms of tourism, somehow, different. Ordinarily, the core sets of reasons connote that the complexity and hectic nature of the society has forced people to devise appropriate approaches to ease the pressure on life through escaping to new places (Lew, Hall, & Williams 2008). It is believed that, people are always searching for opportunities to discover their primitive selves and these desires are quenched through reaching out to the ‘primitive’ form of lives in different geographical locations around the globe. Ideally, people seek to understand their origin by creating a psychological feeling of the original forms of mankind.
In regard to the definition, indigenous tourism seems to have acquired immense richness owing to its interpretation in Australia and Canada. This aspect presents indigenous tourism in the two countries as the same, especially in regard to the similarities although it also manifests the underlying differences. For instance, Australians hold a unique view on indigenous tourism, which portrays it as a tourism product, rather than a commercial phenomenon. In their view, aboriginal tourism is uniquely suited for the aboriginal people which anchor them into their culture (SATC 1995). On the other hand, Canadians views aboriginal tourism as one of the most principal tourism products and services controlled by the aboriginal people (Parker 1993). From an analytical perspective, Canadians offer indigenous tourism a wide scope owing to several factors, and this is attributable to the advancement of aboriginal tourism infrastructure, although there seems to be other significant reasons to this aspect.
Ordinarily, aboriginal tourism entails the display of aboriginal culture of the indigenous Australians. However, other aspects including mainstream tourism have emerged; thus, giving indigenous tourism unprecedented popularity (Zeppel et al. 1999). As a result, culture-based tourism appears to have been transformed into service-based venture whereby accommodation facilities are accessible to visitors. It is believed that aboriginal people in Australia have enhanced the survival of their culture and preserved its identity through presenting it to the outside world. This is probably the principal reason as to why aboriginal tourism has gained popularity.
According to Notzke (1998), aboriginal tourism has become of the most flourishing businesses in Canada where an operational environment has offered a reliable foundation to the business. In her exploration of aboriginal tourism, particularly in western arctic region of Canada, she concludes that co-management of resources and mixed economies serve as some of the most principal drivers of aboriginal tourism. In addition, increased support to traditional land-based economic elements by Canadians has enabled aboriginal tourism to survive and develop. As such, they preserve their culture through encouraging the development of aboriginal tourism, rather than adopting the popular trends of the tourism industry. Authenticity
It is believed that, aspect of authenticity in the indigenous tourism serves as the source of attraction both in Canada and Australia where aboriginal tourism has recorded remarkable progress owing to its profitability. However, it is worth noting that the element of authenticity encompasses several management challenges. For instance, the need for preserving the authenticity of aboriginal tourism, which appears to be a unique feature in the tourism industry offers a significant challenge to businesses and organizations who have ventured in this sector for revenue gains because preserving authenticity is, somehow difficult. However, the preservation of authenticity in aboriginal tourism will lead to immense progress of the business because this approach coincides with the cultural approaches of the indigenous people. It appears evident that the indigenous people focus on preserving their cultural aspects for the existence and survival of aboriginal tourism. As a result, the aspect of self-preservation has enabled aboriginal people to maintain their cultural background, despite the challenge posed by technological advancement, which is eroding aboriginal cultures of most populations around the globe. Therefore, authenticity seems to have played a significant role in maintaining profitability of aboriginal tourism owing to its monetary value.
In reality, aboriginal tourism bears the core aspects of sustainability. It has been evidenced that sustainability forms an integral part of aboriginal tourism in Australia and Canada. From a managerial approach, sustainability appears to be the only solution to the management challenge presented by authenticity in aboriginal tourism. It seems that sustainability has been one of the most principal factors for consideration in developing aboriginal tourism because it offers reliable solutions to management issues. This is probably the reason as to why Australia and Canada have focused on sustainability, more than any other tourism factor, in developing aboriginal tourism. Ideally, sustainability and authenticity are correlated, especially in regard to the maintenance of cultures in the two countries.
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- Caroline Mutuku (Author), 2018, Issues in Special Indigenous Tourism, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/429719