Two keynote speakers have been selected to set the scene for 2nd Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference (PAITC) 2015.
The conference theme, Creating Winning Alliances in Indigenous Tourism, unreservedly places sustainable tourism developments and Indigenous human rights as mutually supportive partners.
The worldview of Indigenous peoples is characterized by values which originate from their spirit worlds. Indigenous peoples throughout the world give practical expression to these values through their stewardship of mutually beneficial relationships with their natural environment and the people they come into contact with. Their values are ancient but timeless, uncomplicated but powerful and based on understanding, sharing, respect, reciprocity, mutual benefits and ultimately symbiotic relationships.
Tourism industry leaders are seeking to champion the development of the industry in a manner that gives priority to the maintenance of sustainable communities and their spiritual relationships with their natural environments, in order that life changing experiences may be enjoyed by visitors of this generation and generations to come.
The keynote speakers, Mr Ben Sherman and Mr John King come from the two worlds of Indigenous peoples and tourism, with each having extensive experiences, knowledge and respect for the others’ worlds. Their keynote addresses will provide the context for the 2nd Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference.
International Indigenous Tourism Bridge Builder
Ben Sherman is a member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Nation, from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, USA. Ben brings wisdom and experiences to tourism based on universal Indigenous values.
Ben is also a founding member of the Native Tourism Alliance, Business Enterprises for Sustainable Travel, First Peoples Fund, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance.
Ben has been a national leader in the development of American Indian tourism efforts in the United States and has presided over numerous American Indian tourism development conferences, workshops and trade shows.
Ben now focuses his efforts on building a strong and effective international network of Indigenous groups and representatives from around the globe and building bridges of collaboration within the tourism industry.
International Tourism Industry Advocate for Indigenous Tourism
Mr John King is widely recognised for his expertise in international tourism marketing and development. During his 40 years in the tourism industry John has been awarded the Order of Australia medal, the Pacific Asia Travel Association Award of Merit and an Honorary Fellowship of the Southern Cross University for his outstanding achievements and service to tourism.
John has fulfilled significant leadership roles in the tourism industry including Chairman of the Australian Tourism Export Council, Board member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Chairman of PATA’s Sustainability and Social Responsible Committee.
John’s passion for tourism is matched by his strong passion for the development and promotion of Indigenous tourism and the equitable participation of Indigenous people in tourism. He was instrumental in driving PATA’s interest in Indigenous issues related to tourism and was the instigator of the first Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference held in 2012, which resulted in the proclamation of the Larrakia Declaration and its subsequent endorsement by the UNWTO and PATA.