Aboriginal Culture in Indigenous Tourism Management in Central Australia

Benxiang Zeng, Rolf Gerritsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This research analyses the role of culture' in Indigenous tourism management in Central Australia. Indigenous culture is a major driver of Indigenous tourism development and plays a key role in Indigenous tourism establishment and management. Yet culture is a diffuse concept that has both 'high' culture and 'low' culture aspects. Culture also has both supply-side and demand-side elements - mostly centred on 'authenticity'. These may not be compatible, which will inhibit successful cultural tourism. One incompatibility that is 'cultural' is the disjunction between western business management models, with their distinction between the 'personal' and 'business', as against the Indigenous fusing of the personal and business. Case studies from Central Australia show some enterprise successes. These suggest that 'low' cultural components – including kinship, eldership, land ownership and sociality, and partnership - are important determinants on the supply side of Indigenous tourism business management. Improving the compatibility of these factors with western-cum-modern 'cultural components' such as organisational leadership and rational management, could benefit both Indigenous people and other stakeholders in the Indigenous tourism industry. Indigenous tourism management policies should pay more attention to harnessing cultural differences and securing 'culturally-ready' tourism management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndigenous People and Economic Development
Subtitle of host publicationAn International Perspective
EditorsKatia Iankova, Azizul Hassan, Rachel L'Abbe
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315588346
ISBN (Print)9781472434825
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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