East Alligator River, Western Arnhem Land. Photo: Nicholas Hall
East Alligator River, Western Arnhem Land. Photo: Nicholas Hall 

Stepwise Indigenous tourism

Stepwise Heritage and Tourism works with Indigenous individuals, groups, enterprises and organisations to:

Our approach for Indigenous tourism development is to provide flexible solutions. We recognise that any situation may need a combination of assessment, planning, capacity building, education and training, mentoring, business development and product development. Whatever your particular situation, we can design a program tailored to your needs. Or if we can’t help, we can locate or direct you to suitable expertise to assist you. In starting up a business in tourism, the road ahead can seem daunting. The services we and our partners offer, can follow your needs through each step of tourism development:

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Preliminary assessment
Stepwise conducts assessments collaboratively with Indigenous groups to help form a realistic picture of capacity to develop business in tourism. This includes capacity for leadership and support, skill base and product concepts.

Planning and facilitation
To be successful, a business really needs to look ahead and plan ahead. In these areas Stepwise has highly trained people that can work with Indigenous groups to develop plans and facilitate meetings between people around enterprise ideas. Stepping Stones for Tourism is one of the main tools that we used to assist Indigenous tourism development. We also assist with other forms of planning such as concept development plans, business plans, feasibility studies and environmental management plans.

Product development
Many Indigenous tourism products start with a good idea, but struggle because the product is poorly developed or fails to evolve as the market changes. We work with emerging and operating Indigenous tourism businesses to help fine tune product concepts, product mix, branding and marketing concepts and the match between what the customer is looking for and what a local group can and wants to offer. We also provide opportunities for product testing with pilot tours we help facilitate. Stepwise Heritage and Tourism prides itself on its ability to work sensitively and practically with cultural knowledge, stories and places of significance. We assist Indigenous people to effectively manage their intellectual property for use in tourism.

As part of Stepping Stones for Tourism, Stepwise undertakes training needs analysis in collaboration with Indigenous clients. We work with registered training organisations, other training providers and partners to deliver customised education and training for the specific needs of the developing enterprises.

Leadership coaching
Stepwise recognises that someone usually has their hands on the steering wheel to drive a tourism business. It may be a few people working together, but the quality of leadership and their people skills always make a big difference to the success of the business. Stepwise develops custom programs to provide mentoring, coaching and business leadership training to individuals and groups.

Operational mentoring
In the early stages of offering a tourism product, Stepwise provides ‘learning by doing’ mentoring. Experienced tour operators work alongside the local operator working through the daily routines and practical issues of tourism operations.

Delivering travel experiences
Our work involves supporting Indigenous people to get into tourism through all the steps required, including the real business of delivering clients. Stepwise Travel is a service provided by Stepwise Heritage and Tourism that attracts customers to the products with which Stepwise has been associated. This helps deliver real customers to Indigenous businesses at a key stage in their development, as well as provides trial and pilot clients during product development and mentoring stages.

Facilitators and associates of Stepwise Heritage and Tourism have been involved in assisting Indigenous tourism development with the following Indigenous communities, organisations and enterprises: