We work extensively with indigenous communities in planning for tourism enterprises and assisting in bringing them to fruition. We also work with indigenous communities in park planning and the development of joint management plans and partnership approaches.

TRC recognises that for many Indigenous communities and groups management of their traditional country and development of indigenous tourism and other enterprises are central to their cultural, social and economic wellbeing. We have worked with many Indigenous communities and groups across Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and Asia to assist them to realise their aspirations, develop workable solutions and extend their management and business capacities.

When working with Indigenous communities we take a partnership approach that respects their culture and decision making processes. We work interactively with Indigenous clients to build relationships and develop realistic yet creative solutions that they and their community support. Throughout a project we involve Indigenous stakeholders in making decisions and building their understanding and capacity to deliver the desired outcomes. We aim to include measures for mentoring, training and other capacity building to achieve sustainable ongoing outcomes.

In Australia TRC has been involved in assisting Aboriginal Traditional Owners plan for and benefit from parks and protected areas on Aboriginal land and marine areas. We have worked with many Aboriginal communities to develop tourism and other businesses and have assisted Aboriginal tourism operators develop successful products.

In New Zealand, TRC have designed a strong kaupapa Māori approach (that is by, with and for Māori) that involves working closely with iwi, hapū and whanau on the development of robust business plans to develop economically viable tourism experiences for local Māori ventures in the region and to differentiate the region from others. This kaupapa Māori approach uses a strategy whare (house) where the aspirations of the iwi/hapū are the whare roof with their values underpinning the process as the foundations. A second stage is tūmatanui/tūmataiti, the public versus private space for the hapū or iwi, and determining what can be shared.

Indigenous tourism development has the capacity to understand the complex encounter between tourism development and Indigenous aspirations to more effectively advance Indigenous cultural and natural heritage and achieve socio-economic outcomes that are of significance to Indigenous communities.


  • Joint Management Plans for Indigenous-owned parks and protected areas

  • Strategic planning to protect Indigenous country and cultures and provide opportunities for employment and economic development

  • Tourism product development

  • Tourism capacity building – business planning, development, mentoring and training

  • Business planning and capacity building

  • Storytelling workshops to help identify the themes on which experiences can be built

  • The development of strong business plans that are underpinned by cultural values that can assist in the development of strong tourism experiences that drive socioeconomic benefits into communities

  • Community planning

Related projects

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