The Larrakia Declaration on the Development of Indigenous Tourism

11 May 2012

The first Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference was held in Darwin, on the traditional lands of the Larrakia people on the 28th – 30th  March , 2012, where 191 delegates from 16 countries representing Indigenous communities, government agencies, the tourism industry and supporting bodies, resolved to adopt principles to guide the development of indigenous tourism through the following declaration.

  • Recognising that often Indigenous people are marginalized, disadvantaged and remote from the opportunity for social, economic and political advancement
  • Recognising that whilst tourism provides the strongest driver to restore, protect and promote Indigenous cultures, it has the potential to diminish and destroy those cultures when improperly developed
  • Recognising that as the world becomes increasingly homogenous Indigenous cultures will become increasingly important for tourism to provide differentiation, authenticity and the enrichment of visitor experiences.
  • Recognising that for indigenous tourism to be successful and sustainable, Indigenous tourism needs to be based on traditional knowledge, cultures and practices and it must contribute to the well being of Indigenous communities and the environment
  • Recognising that Indigenous tourism provides a strong vehicle for cultural understanding, social interaction and peace
  • Recognising that universal Indigenous values underpin intergenerational stewardship of cultural resources and understanding, social interaction and peace
It is hereby resolved to adopt the following principles; that…
  • Respect for customary law and lore, land and water, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, cultural heritage will underpin all tourism decisions
  • Indigenous culture and the land and waters on which it is based will be protected and promoted through well managed tourism practices and appropriate interpretation
  • Indigenous peoples will determine the extent and nature and organisational arrangements for their participation in tourism and that governments and multilateral agencies will support the empowerment of Indigenous people.
  • That governments have a duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples before undertaking decisions on public policy and programs designed to foster the development of indigenous tourism
  • The tourism industry will respect Indigenous intellectual  property rights, cultures and traditional practices, the need for sustainable and equitable business partnerships and the proper care of the environment and communities that support them
  • That equitable partnerships between the tourism industry and Indigenous people will include the sharing of cultural awareness and skills development which support the well-being of communities and enable enhancement of individual livelihoods.
This conference calls on governments and all sections of the tourism industry to support the leadership shown by the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Tourism NT and the Australian Tourism Export Council in organising this conference, by building bridges of partnership and cooperation between Indigenous people and their tourism industry organisations.

This conference recognises the launch of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance to facilitate, advocate and network with each affiliated indigenous tourism body and with industry, governments and multilateral agencies