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Indigenous tourism shaking off passive role

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Indigenous tourism shaking off passive role

Tourism as a vehicle for indigenous self determination is on the minds of the more than 300 delegates at the World Indigenous Tourism Conference in the Bay of Islands.

World Tourism Alliance director Johnny Edmonds says it's whakawhanaungatanga on a global scale as manuhiri from Asia, Europe, the Pacific, the Americas and elsewhere share their stories.

He says common themes are care for the environment and for indigenous people to be central to the industry and not just passive bystanders.

"If you're having tourism in this and other countries where tangata whenua are passive bystanders you have the greatest risk of detrimental activities happening which undermine all of those things we value as mana whenua might value, all of those things that attach to the land and of course themselves as people and as cultures," Mr Edmonds says.

Maori are just at the start of the tourism journey, with most activity coming from entrepreneurial whanau and iwi and hapu yet to come on board.

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