Scenic side panel
Scenic side panel

'Welcome to my Country': Tourism Australia's 60,000-year-old story

As part of NAIDOC week, Tourism Australia has launched ‘Welcome to my Country’ – a stirring video featuring prominent Aboriginal Elders that welcomes Australians to explore Country by connecting with our lands Traditional Custodians, learning their rich stories and sharing in culture via tourism experiences.

As part of NAIDOC week, Tourism Australia has launched ‘Welcome to my Country’ – a stirring video featuring prominent Aboriginal Elders that welcomes Australians to explore Country by connecting with our lands Traditional Custodians, learning their rich stories and sharing in culture via tourism experiences.

Could tourism be used as a pathway towards reconciliation? Absolutely. Welcome to my Country. Welcome to our collective Country.

Australia is home to the oldest living culture on Earth and Tourism Australia says its role is to grow demand and understanding for authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism experiences, both on the global stage and here at home.

The stunning ‘Welcome to my Country’ video launched this week was written and created by Message Sticks and produced by Blackfisch, both majority Aboriginal-owned and operated companies. The film is supported by a range of owned and earned initiatives to encourage Australians to seek out Indigenous tourism experiences.

Tourism Australia’s CMO, Susan Coghill, said: “Tourism is one of the most impactful ways for Australians (and people from all around the world, in non-pandemic times) to connect with Country and share in tens of thousands of years of storytelling and millions of years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history on this land.

“We are proud to work with the tourism industry to showcase the incredible experiences on offer, and there’s something special about being able to promote authentic, deep connection with Country through the knowledge and experience shared by Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal tour guides across our nation.” She said.

Connect to Country partnership

Connect to Country

Tourism Australia has also announced their participation as a founding partner in the ‘Connect to Country’ movement, launched last week by Facebook Australia and Campfire X.

The ‘Connect to Country’ movement invites Australians to better connect with Australia’s Indigenous cultures and encourages brands and businesses to embed First Nations culture as an integral part of their physical and digital footprints.

The campaign spotlights positive storytelling and representation and offers easy ways for everyone to make Indigenous Culture an essential part of our everyday life.

As part of the movement, a new video asks all Australians “Where You From?” and encourages them to discover more about their local First Nations communities, with resources available on the ‘Connect to Country’ Facebook page.

In addition, Facebook Australia and Campfire x will launch a pilot series of unique First Nations stories that will be served to Facebook and Instagram users who live in corresponding areas, connecting them with the land they’re on.

Still don’t think there’s an appetite for indigenous tourism? In 2019, 1.4 million international visitors (17%) participated in an Indigenous tourism experience whilst visiting Australia, a 6% year on year increase since 2010.

And for domestic travellers, the figure was one million, an increase of 13% each year since 2013.

To learn more, visit: Facebook.com/ConnectToCountry

Discover Tourism Australia’s range of indigenous tourism experiences and products here.