Indigenous tourism in protected areas: issues and possibilities

Hyams, W., Birtles, A., Valentine, P., and Rist, P. (2008) Indigenous tourism in protected areas: issues and possibilities. In: Proceedings of Australian Protected Areas Congress 2008, pp. 67-68. From: Australian Protected Areas Congress 2008, 24-28 November 2008, Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Protected area managers increasingly recognise that the maintenance of both cultural and biological diversity is crucial for ensuring the resilience of social and ecological systems (Berkes, Colding, Folke, 2000). While tourism in protected areas is often identified as an economic opportunity for local communities (Beltrán, 2000), in reality many Indigenous communities are excluded from the commercial benefits of tourism (Johnston, 2006). The tourism aspirations of traditional owners with rights and interests in protected areas, presents a policy challenge for protected area managers. Research with traditional owners in the Girringun region of north Queensland, in and adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) and Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA), highlights the difficulties traditional owners face in fulfilling their aspirations to develop cultural tourism which sustains cultural heritage values.

The paper explores the extent to which traditional law and custom underpinning traditional owners’ cultural tourism aspirations is recognised within relevant legislation including the Native Title Act 1993 (Commonwealth), Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), and the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland). By adopting a cross-cultural perspective, policy solutions are recommended to allow for the ecologically sustainable use of protected areas including World Heritage Areas, to enable the full expression of Aboriginal cultural heritage values whilst boosting the economic wellbeing of traditional owners. Similarly, the contributions of Aboriginal cultural tourism to the presentation and transmission of Aboriginal cultural values within protected areas are highlighted.

Item ID: 7563
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: indigenous tourism; protected areas; cultural heritage
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ISBN: 978-0-646-50733-0
Date Deposited: 06 May 2010 02:36
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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