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Tourism and Indigenous People
by Ron Mader


If we don't all prosper together, then nothing will have been achieved.
- Native Notebook

Save the Date! 2015 Indigenous Peoples Week: August 3-9 #ipw5 @localtravels @nuttisamisiida @timeunlimited

FLICKR ALBUM: Indigenous


Indigenous Peoples Week (August 3-9) is co-hosted by, Nutti Sámi Siida, TIME Unlimited and The Travel Word. Participation is free and open to all.

This is our fifth annual celebration of social web storytelling that explores the connections among Indigenous peoples and tourism around the world. Five years?! We encourage you to use our #IPW5 hashtag on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

One of's tentpole events, Indigenous Peoples Week manifests our commitment toward effective communication and collaboration. Responsible travel is not an ethical dilemma of whether to have fun or be responsible. We can do both!

Registration is now open via Eventbrite:


Indigenous peoples are using the Web to share their stories with the world and travelers are connecting with indigenous communities. Welcome to the world of Indigenous Tourism.

The Web -- and in particular Social Web: Flickr, Slideshare, YouTube, Twitter -- creates an extraordinary opportunity for indigenous people with crafts and tourism services to get the word out about their world and the protocols expected of others.

Tourism is changing from 50-seat bus tours to smaller groups and individual travel. Long tail marketing and sales in tourism certainly can benefit rural communities and indigenous tourism services once the locals know how to share their stories online as well as on tour. Valuable conversations -- online and on the ground -- only deepen these partnerships and motivate others.

Visitors are asking deep questions about the values inherent in their tours. How do the tours and purchase of crafts or food benefit the locals? Where does my money go? Am I welcome here?

Most visitors are willing to abide local protocol, but rules need to be clearly defined before arrival. Just where are visitors invited? Where are visitors asked to stay away? features coverage of indigenous people and tourism in regional guides. We have also entered into an extended dialogue with indigenous leaders around the world that take the form of web workshops and webinars and guides for visitors.

Indigenous peoples manage more than 40% of all IUCN-recognized protected areas in the world, and many of them - if not most - use tourism as a complement, or main product, of their economic benefits from these areas.

In the development of many projects, including tourism, conservation, indigenous people have not been considered as valued stakeholders from the start. In the worst cases, they are not listened to in the development of 'charitable' projects. Adequate consultation is a must. The question for non-indigenous tourism developers, media, government leaders, academics and yours truly is how to listen to indigenous voices and integrate these perspectives into ongoing work.

Guidelines -- such as explaining gender-specific activities or which places are off limit to visitors -- help diminish misunderstandings and social faux paus.

As the movements toward local travel and responsible travel deepen, indigenous peoples have much to offer a growing number of travelers who wish to respect people and place. Putting such noble ideas into practice is the task at hand!


Likewise the options for what visitors can do need to be more evident. Many visitors miss out on connecting with locals via food, crafts and tours simply because the promotional brochures, flyers, business cards are not visible. Typically promotion happens during or after an event and the operator websites are non-existent or have not been updated in a few years.


In Mexico collaborative projects include documenting language and crafts by the Ayuuk (Mixe), Zapotecs, Mixtecs and Chinantecos.

We have collaborated with the artisans in Teotitlán del Valle in developing weaver-led tours, as part of our annual fair. This is an innovative project that has already generated a directory of weavers and a dictionary of local Zapotec.

In 2012 we are focusing attention on the Maya World and seeking to engage with responsible tourism operations in the region.


The Maori call New Zealand 'Aotearoa,' the Land of the Long White Cloud. The Maori are descended from people who originally populated the Pacific Islands. joins in the annual celebration of Matariki and Maori Language Week.


In Australia collaborated with Aboriginal Tourism Australia in developing marketing strategies for aboriginal tour operators. We participated in the 2007 Business Development Symposium, a powerful capacity building training seminar that brought together a number of stakeholders to review current policy. Sadly our relationship came to end end when Aboriginal Tourism Australia closed its doors in July 2008. (Details)


Sámi is used to name the Lappish people, the indigenous population of Sápmi (northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Kola peninsula in Russia). The Sámi people live in four countries and have no national state of their own, but the Sámi flag has been flying in Norway, Finland, Russia and Sweden since 1986.


One of the critiques of 2002's International Year of Ecotourism came from indigenous groups, many of which complained that they are not adequately included in tourism development.

To the credit of the summit organizers, these critics were included in the event and the declaration. The Summit was one of the few recent international events that had no protesters had the door because most had already been invited inside.

One of the results of the discussion was the addition to the Quebec Declaration that stressed "ecotourism must recognize and respect the land rights of indigenous and local communities, including their protected, sensitive and sacred sites."


October 14 Global Workshop for Indigenous and Local Communities will engage CoP 11 participants and colleagues around the world with new networking tools that highlight indigenous and local community tourism services that conserve traditional culture and local biodiversity.



As a collaborative endeavor, the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award is the high point of a decade-plus conservation with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Oliver Hillel and numerous friends - indigenous and non-indigenous peoples - about the best ways to develop indigenous tourism. As a non-indigenous person myself, I ask what are the best ways that other non-indigenous peoples connect with individuals and communities who take pride in their indigenous heritage.


Marketing Indigenous Tourism

August 9: International Day of the World's Indigenous People

International Day of the World's Indigenous People or Día Internacional de los Pueblos Indígenas

Marketing Indigenous Tourism


Ron Mader is the responsible travel correspondent for Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning website.


g Indigenous Peoples Week 2015
g Global Workshop for Indigenous and Local Communities
g Guurrbi Tours Celebrates 10th anniversary
g Indigenous Peoples Week 2013
g Indigenous Peoples Week 2012
g Indigenous Peoples Week 2011
g Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award
g Amplifying Maya Voices
g Wish List for Responsible, Sustainable Ecotourism
g Aboriginal Australia
g Indigenous People and Tourism in New Zealand
g Indigenous People and Tourism in Mexico
g Walk with the Weavers
g Rethinking Tourism - Deborah McLaren
g Community Tourism and the Hopi and Navajo - Sue Beeton
g Bolivia’s Hotspot: Conversation with Alex Villca Limaco
g Native Notebook


g Indigenous
g ITBW Award 2010
g Cazaneun d'beni ruin chei laadi (Walk with the Weavers) (Mexico, Zapotec)
g Guelaguetza: Tortilla de Milpa Zapoteca (Oaxaca, Mexico)
g yakxtoo'ts (Mexico, Mixe)
g Stone Soup (Caldo de Piedra) (Mexico, Chinanteco)
g Bashon (Mexico, Zapotec)
g Quiz (Mexico, Zapotec)


g Indigenous
g Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award
g Indigenous Week
g Celebración de la Comida Indígena
g Zapoteco de Teotitlán del Valle
g Aboriginal Australia
g Maori - Maori Language
g Maya - Mayan Language
g Quechua
g Sámi


b 100 Maori words every New Zealander should know - NZ History Net
b Te Ahi Kaa - Radio New Zealand
b Maori - Radio New Zealand


g Indigenous Playlist
g ITBW Playlist



itbw 2010
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Buzzword Bingo: Kaitiakitanga =  Guardianship of the environment that supports us Buzzword Bingo: Manaakitanga = respect for hosts and kindness to guests #Maori



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