Dr. Sonya Graci is an Associate Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson, University in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Graci has worked on numerous projects around the world related to sustainable tourism development and has focused her attention on community capacity building in Honduras, Indonesia, Canada, Fiji and China. She has a keen interest in working with Aboriginal communities in developing sustainable forms of tourism. She also has a passion for increasing sustainability in marine environments and has focused much of her research on sustainable tourism development in island states. Dr. Graci is the author of two books and several journal articles and industry publications.
Presentation: Examining Successful Aboriginal Tourism Products From Across the Globe
To fully realize opportunities, the Aboriginal tourism industry must take steps to address issues affecting communities, product, markets and human resources, as raised by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders. Primarily, a lack of awareness of the opportunities and the support systems available often prevents Aboriginal communities from actively engaging in or pursuing this industry. There is also the need to understand the standard of quality demanded by the market. The aforementioned challenges notwithstanding, there is a strong demand for high-quality, authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences from consumers around the world. This presentation will provide best practices from several Aboriginal communities worldwide. The case studies provide examples of successful Aboriginal tourism products and the challenges they faced in development and operation. It will explore the success of communities and products in various locations. Lessons learned from these case studies will provide valuable insight for recommendations on how to develop a successful Aboriginal tourism product.