Sixteen Australian travel and tourism businesses have joined together to form an informal group aimed at advancing reconciliation efforts with Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Known as the Tourism Reconciliation Industry Networking Group (RING), the collective will work to provide a space for more travel industry businesses to collaborate, develop and implement their own Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
RING is an initiative of Tourism Australia and Intrepid Travel and features major airlines, tourism representation bodies, retail travel networks, tour operators, accommodation providers and other businesses.
Its objective is to share challenges and opportunities, identify best practice, listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders and community leaders on topics related to culture and tourism.
The first RING meeting took place in late November 2022, with the group to meet quarterly thereafter.
Travel businesses involved in the Tourism Reconciliation Industry Networking Group include Qantas and Virgin Australia, NRMA, Flight Centre, Expedia Group, Airbnb, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, Merlin Entertainments, Tourism Western Australia, South Australian Tourism Commission, Visit Canberra and more.
Tourism Australia Head of Indigenous Affairs, Phil Lockyer, said that while more than 2,200 organisations have developed and maintain a RAP, very few come from the travel and tourism sector.
“Through tourism, people can engage, listen and connect with the richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures in every corner on this country,” Lockyer said.
“As RAPs grow across the industry, being able to come together and to support and learn from each other and listen to diverse Indigenous voices will help us to build on our RAPs and challenges or ambitions.”
Intrepid Travel ANZ Managing Director, Brett Mitchell, said Australia was uniquely placed to celebrate, share and learn from First Nations peoples.
“Building strong and positive relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is an important part of our mission to create positive change through the joy of travel,” Mitchell added.
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