3 August 2012

Indigenous tourism businesses in Western Australia are planning to target new customers in the US and Canada with help from two of the world’s top business schools.

MBA students from The University of Queensland Business School in Brisbane and The Wharton School in the US have developed a marketing strategy to promote the "Indigenous cultural experience" to a North American audience.

Five students from each business school visited Perth in March to meet representatives from the industry body, the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC).

They learned about the tourism experiences on offer, ranging from traditional dance and dreamtime stories to contemporary history, bush tours and art galleries.

This past week WAITOC representatives flew to San Francisco where the student team will be revealing the completed marketing plan, outlining their recommendations and providing introductions to key industry partners.

The project was carried out as part of the Wharton Global Consulting Practicum (GCP), which brings together MBA students from Wharton and UQ Business School to develop a US market entry strategy for an Australasian organisation.

Established in 1881, The Wharton School was the first collegiate business school and is recognised as one of the top three in the world.

UQ Business School is Wharton’s exclusive GCP partner in Australasia.

The Dean of the UQ Business School, Professor Andrew Griffiths, said: “The Wharton GCP allows Australasian businesses to benefit from advice from some of the world’s top MBA talent while at the same time providing our students the chance to collaborate on international consultancy projects.

"We are delighted to be able to help WAITOC in its plans to promote indigenous tourism to the US market.

"Tourism offers a unique opportunity for Indigenous people to participate in business in a real and meaningful way, while still maintaining their cultural heritage.”

The CEO of WAITOC, Johnny Edmonds, said: “Being Indigenous is a blessing and a responsibility.

"Indigenous peoples throughout the world, being values-based and spiritually connected to place, have key contributions to make to the achievement of global harmony and tourism is a marvellous vehicle for enabling shared understanding between different peoples.”

About UQ Business School
The University of Queensland Business School is independently ranked as one of the top business schools in Australia and amongst the leading institutions worldwide. Based in Brisbane, it brings together more than 130 subject experts . There are more than 6500 students and the UQ Business School offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs and executive education across the range of business disciplines.

UQ Business School is renowned internationally for the quality of its research and also provides contract research and consultancy services to organisations throughout the world. The teaching – research – consultancy loop is central to its success, ensuring that the School maintains its position at the forefront of academic knowledge while staying closely attuned to modern business requirements. For further information see www.business.uq.edu.au

Fast facts
• UQ Business School was the first in Australia to meet the standards of the world’s two most influential accrediting bodies - the US-based AACSB International and Europe’s EQUIS.

• Has been ranked in the world’s top 50 universities for executive education by the Financial Times.

• Its MBA program has been rated in the top 50 worldwide by The Economist and in the top two in Australia by the AFR’s BOSS Magazine.

• The MBA course has been awarded the highest possible rating of five stars for seven years running by Australia’s most influential rating body, the GMAA.

• The School was classed as above world standard in its four major fields of business research in the Australian government’s ERA assessment.

Media enquiries to:
Tanya Hagedorn
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
DL: +61 (0) 7 3346 3052
E: t.hagedorn@business.uq.edu.au