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NIAA is supporting the sustainability and growth of the First Nations tourism sector. Sharing cultural experiences with tourists can boost economic activity and employment opportunities for First Nations peoples, including in regional and remote communities. It can also contribute to reconciliation efforts and support First Nations peoples maintain connection to Country.

NIAA is collaborating with partners on a range of initiatives, developed in consultation with the sector, focused on growing the size and number of First Nations owned tourism businesses across Australia.

Direct assistance for First Nations Tourism

Grants for First Nations Tourism Operators

Tourism grant opportunities have been provided to assist First Nations owned businesses and community organisations to invest in new equipment, develop new and extend existing activities, plan for future opportunities and strengthen marketing in the tourism sector.

Through two grant opportunities $9 million has been offered to support First Nations tourism operators. These grants have been capped at $50,000 for First Nations owned tourism businesses and $100,000 for First Nations community organisations.

For a list of organisations recommended for funding through NIAA’s second tourism grant opportunity, refer to: Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business – Round 2 Funding Offers.

This will be the final tourism grant opportunity available through this program.

First Nations Tourism Mentoring Program

The First Nations Tourism Mentoring Program will offer place-based, tailored services from industry experts, to support First Nations tourism businesses across the country. The program will assist operators take full advantage of the increasing market for visitors interested in experiencing cultural tourism activities.

The program has been developed after a comprehensive design process involving First Nations tourism stakeholders. First Nations tour operators and industry experts, across the country, contributed on the needs and challenges facing the sector. Their input has shaped how the program will deliver support across urban, regional and remote Australia.

The program is expected to offer mentoring services from the second half of 2023. First Nations tourism businesses interested in mentoring support can register at www.fntmp.com.au

Strategic First Nations Tourism Projects

The Australian Government will co-invest with state and territories in large scale First Nations tourism projects. This will stimulate and strengthen the economic participation of First Nations peoples and communities in the Visitor Economy.

Each co-investment will be delivered in partnership with State and Territory Governments. Projects selected will align with each jurisdiction's First Nations tourism priorities and have the support of local community and Traditional Owners. The projects will help to increase the supply of First Nations tourism experiences and may also create supply chain opportunities for First Nations tourism businesses and organisations.

NIAA is working with State and Territory Governments to confirm arrangements for the co-investment opportunity.

Elevating First Nations Participation in Visitor Economy

The Australian Government's strategic priorities in the visitor economy include a focus on increasing the involvement of First Nations peoples in the sector, recognising its role in advancing self-determination and supporting employment and economic opportunities for First Nations peoples. NIAA is working with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, along with states and territories to increase opportunities for First Nations peoples to participate and lead discussions about tourism policy and programs.

Priorities for this dialogue will include:

  • Respectfully embedding First Nations cultures throughout the visitor economy, promoting universal respect for First Nations ownership and cultural knowledge.
  • Considerations of new, and expanded support for existing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and operated tourism enterprises.
  • Promoting access to increase mentoring opportunities and foster improved training and workforce opportunities.

More information

For further information on First Nations Tourism please email tourism@niaa.gov.au.