Facilitating the development of Australian Indigenous tourism enterprises: The Business Ready Program for Indigenous Tourism
Buultjens, J & Gale, D 2013, 'Facilitating the development of Australian Indigenous tourism enterprises: The Business Ready Program for Indigenous Tourism', Tourism Management Perspectives, vol. 5, pp. 41-50.
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Tourism has been identified as a sector capable of offering economic opportunities for Indigenous people in Australia. In 2004, the Federal government introduced a mentoring programme aimed at helping Indigenous people establish or to further develop sustainable tourism businesses. This paper provides a critical examination of the implementation of this programme and factors which affected its outcomes. The examination will hopefully assist in a more effective development of future government programmes. The research was conducted in tandem with the administration of the mentoring programme and was informed by interpretivist and Indigenous research methodologies. A series of semi-structured, in-depth interviews with stakeholders took place over three and a half years; the duration of the programme. The findings suggest that while the programme could be considered relatively successful there were some problems that reduced its effectiveness. For example, mentors had too many businesses in their portfolio, the programme timeframe was too short and there was a lack of specific key performance indicators. Many stakeholders believed that prior consultation with the proposed Indigenous programme participants would have resulted in an improved programme.