Aboriginal interpretation in Australian wildlife tourism

Zeppel, Heather and Muloin, Sue (2008) Aboriginal interpretation in Australian wildlife tourism. Journal of Ecotourism, 7 (2-3). pp. 116-136. ISSN 1472-4049


This paper evaluates Aboriginal cultural interpretation at wildlife attractions and on wildlife tours in Australia. The sites included 14 wildlife parks or zoos; three Aboriginal-owned emu or crocodile farms; and 16 wildlife tours, river cruises or resorts with Indigenous interpretation of wildlife. Telephone interviews were conducted with 35 managers (nine Indigenous) and 26 Indigenous staff at wildlife attractions that included verbal or written Aboriginal wildlife interpretation. The Indigenous guides verbally presented both traditional uses and personal stories about Australian wildlife followed by Aboriginal 'Dreaming' or creation stories about totemic animal species. Non-Indigenous staff explained traditional Aboriginal uses of wildlife followed by biological facts and species information. The responses in this study thus highlight cultural differences in animal attitudes and approaches to wildlife use or interpretation. According to staff, tourists benefit from the inclusion of Aboriginal interpretation at wildlife sites by broadening their mind, dispelling myths, learning/education about Aboriginal cultures, novelty and excitement for visitors, increasing cultural awareness and developing more positive attitudes towards Indigenous people. Some guidelines for wildlife attractions and tours to develop and present Aboriginal cultural interpretation of Australian wildlife are also identified.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 18692
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - No Department (Up to 31 Dec 2010)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - No Department (Up to 31 Dec 2010)
Date Deposited: 22 May 2011 06:59
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2014 03:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: wildlife tourism; Australia; indigenous cultures; wildlife interpretation; zoos; animal attitudes
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies
21 History and Archaeology > 2102 Curatorial and Related Studies > 210202 Heritage and Cultural Conservation
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1506 Tourism > 150605 Tourism Resource Appraisal
Fields of Research (2020): 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history > 450199 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history not elsewhere classified
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4302 Heritage, archive and museum studies > 430205 Heritage and cultural conservation
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3508 Tourism > 350805 Tourism resource appraisal
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 90 Commercial Services and Tourism > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14724040802140493
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18692

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only