Welcome to Country (WTC) celebrated its fresh launch online on Wednesday night offering a week of free, online experiences that give people from across Australia a taste of what's on offer through virtual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism insights and intimate conversations with artists and operators.
The national launch event was hosted by Sydney Opera House Head of Creative and WTC board member Aunty Rhoda Roberts, and featured all of Welcome to Country's staff, board members and operators.
Welcome to Country is a not-for-profit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural tourism marketplace that is designed to provide opportunities for Australians to book unique and adventurous experiences embedded with Indigenous cultural insights.
Equally important, it allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism providers, craftspeople, artists and other operators the chance to promote themselves and increase their patronage.
Aunty Rhoda Roberts AO, said it was an exciting time for everyone involved and that people should jump online to view the online experiences and find out exactly what Welcome to Country has to offer.
"We are extremely excited to be able to present the Welcome to Country marketplace and give Australians an opportunity to experience Indigenous cultural activities and products that are easily identified and booked through welcometocountry.com."
Head of Marketing, Tim Sculthorpe, said that the national launch could be a game changer.
"The reason we have launched nationally and expanded in products is the bad conditions that operators have been faced with," he said.
"Between bushfires, floods and now COVID-19, people have been struggling so we saw this as a great time to expand, provide more opportunities for both local tourists and operators, and start helping people make a connection with their own backyard.
"We have over 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences and over 1000 products available on our platform and are really aiming to help communities running in the absence of tourism."
CEO of Welcome to Country Jason Eades, said they were pleased with the response and support that Welcome to Country had received from Aboriginal and Torres Strait tour operators, artists and other businesses.
"We have exceptional immersive experiences including Indigenous art, cultural performances and talks, food gathering, dining and wine tasting activities, as well as adventures, including epic walks, quad bikes and scuba diving, as well as sharing stories around campfires," he said.
"We also offer more than 1,000 beautifully and authentically crafted Aboriginal and Torres Strait products on our website.
Mr Sculthorpe said that anyone interested in either joining one of the amazing Welcome to Country experiences or is an operator or artist that can offer such an adventure should register online.
"People can register online in our Journey Begins section to see all the experiences we have available and to try the free options, while any operators or businesses that are looking to join us should complete the Register With Us section."
More information is available on the Welcome to Country website.
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