Local knowledge is absolute king in tourism and indigenous operators can offer an intimacy of experience about their respective cultures that simply can’t be beat. This advantage is being increasingly recognised around the world, with the work of indigenous operators in Australian and New Zealand high on the list.
Both outfits were judged runners-up in the 2010 ITBW Awards highlighting “the contribution of indigenous operators to biological and cultural diversity”. The winner was Nutti Sami Siida which runs reindeer sled trips in Sweden.
The popular vote, however, went to Auckland region specialist T.I.M.E Unlimited Tours. Another New Zealand operator Te Urewera Treks was also a runner-up. It’s eco-cultural wilderness treks adhere to Maori principles and values of sustainability.
Indigenous operators from 10 countries were considered. The ITBW awards may not rival the Oscars, yet every tiny spark of recognition surely helps boost the fortunes of homespun outfits striving to achieve best of practice while offering something unique to tourists. So now you know who to choose when you go.