Indigenous Tourism Policy in Australia: 25 Years of Rhetoric and Economic Rationalism

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Whitford, M
Bell, B
Watkins, M
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2001
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Abstract

Successive Australian federal and State governments have produced tourism policies to facilitate the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander [ATSI] tourism. However, the effectiveness and appropriateness of these policies has been questioned. This paper describes a qualitative study examining federal and Queensland State governments' ATSI tourism policies during the period 1975 to 1999. Three main findings of the study were: (1) ATSI tourism policies are published in an ad hoc manner and appear to be related to a reactive approach by governments to broader ATSI social and economic issues; (2) economic concerns dominate ATSI tourism policies and emphasise the commodification of indigenous tourism; and (3) policies are strongly reflective of an economic-rationalist ideology. The study concludes that the emphasis on economic rationalism assists Australian tourism enterprises to be internationally competitive but may create undesirable consequences for indigenous tourism stakeholders.

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Current Issues in Tourism
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© 2001 Channel View Publications. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
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Marketing
Tourism
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