NZ Māori Tourism and WINTA are committed to creating an exemplary programme to bring an audience of indigenous tourism operators and world leaders together to discuss economic, environmental, social and political advances and challenges in Indigenous tourism.
The theme of the summit is Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua - Man comes and goes, but the land remains.
The World Indigenous Tourism Summit builds on the progress made at the Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference (PAITC) that was held in Darwin, on the traditional lands of the Larrakia people, on the 28th - 30th March 2012. There were 191 delegates from 16 countries representing indigenous communities, government agencies, the tourism industry and supporting bodies, who resolved to adopt principles to guide the development of indigenous tourism through the Larrakia Declaration.
That conference called on governments, and all sections of the tourism industry, to support the leadership shown by the organisers of that event (Pacific Asia Travel Association, Tourism NT and the Australian Tourism Export Council) by building bridges of partnership and cooperation between Indigenous people and their respective tourism industry organisations.
That conference recognised the launch of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA) to facilitate, advocate and network with each affiliated Indigenous tourism body and with industry, governments and multilateral agencies.
The Larrakia Declaration makes the assertion that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides the foundation for advancement of global indigenous tourism. This important U.N. document, 20 years in the making, welcomes the fact that Indigenous peoples are organising for economic, political, social and political advances. It supports control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources. The principles of the declaration are:
1) Respect for customary law and lore, land and water, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and cultural heritage will underpin all tourism decisions.
2) Indigenous culture and the land and waters on which it is based, will be protected and promoted through well managed tourism practices and appropriate interpretation.
3) Indigenous peoples will determine the extent and nature and organizational arrangements for their participation in tourism and that governments and multilateral agencies will support the empowerment of Indigenous people.
4) That governments have a duty to consult and accommodate indigenous peoples before undertaking decisions on public policy and programs designed to foster the development of Indigenous tourism.
5) The tourism industry will respect Indigenous intellectual property rights, cultures and traditional practices, the need for sustainable and equitable business partnerships, and the proper care of the environment and communities that support them.
From an indigenous human rights perspective, the Larrakia Declaration is important because:
a) It is a declaration of commitment by the tourism industry to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007 (UNDRIP);
b) It advocates building bridges of partnership and cooperation between the tourism industry and Indigenous peoples;
c) It favourably positions the tourism industry to take on a global leadership role in the corporate sector, to build understanding, respect and support for the rights of indigenous peoples