Arctisen and WINTA

There is no other global tourism organisation like WINTA in the World

Johnny Edmonds

WINTA World Indigenous Tourism Alliance

WINTA views the Arctisen project as a positive opportunity to explore European perceptions of the concept of cultural sensitivity to guide the forward development of culturally sensitive tourism in the Arctic.

WINTA was borne out of the global, collective aspirations of Indigenous interests in tourism and is an Indigenous led initiative that aspires to give practical effect to key articles under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007 (UNDRIP) in tourism. The establishment of WINTA in 2012 coincided with the Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference in Darwin Australia and the promulgation of the Larrakia Declaration by international tourism industry stakeholders at that conference.

The Larrakia Declaration was subsequently adopted by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and endorsed by the UNWTO in 2012.

In promoting the rights of Indigenous communities, the principles articulated in the Larrakia Declaration encourage tourism developments where:

  • Tourism decisions will be underpinned by respect for customary law and lore, land and water, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and cultural heritage
  • Tourism industry stakeholders have a duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples before undertaking decisions on public policy and programs designed to foster the development of Indigenous tourism
  • Indigenous peoples will determine the extent and nature and organizational arrangements for their participation in tourism and that governments support the empowerment of Indigenous people
  • The tourism industry will respect Indigenous intellectual property rights, cultures and traditional practices, the need for sustainable and equitable business partnerships and the proper care of the environment and communities that support them
  • That equitable partnerships between the tourism industry and Indigenous people will include the sharing of cultural awareness and skills development which support the well- being of communities and enable enhancement of individual livelihoods
  • Indigenous culture and the land and waters on which it is based, will be protected and promoted through well managed tourism practices and appropriate interpretationThe Larrakia Declaration also recognised the launch of WINTA to facilitate, advocate and network with each affiliated Indigenous tourism body and with industry, governments and multilateral agencies.


WINTA Councillor Lennart Pittja (Sweden) and WINTA Director Johnny Edmonds

Today, WINTA operates as a not for profit organisation formally constituted under NZ legislation with a Leadership Council comprised of Indigenous tourism leaders from Australia, Canada, Nepal, NZ, Sweden and the USA. WINTA has developed tools to facilitate practical implementation of tourism developments consistent with the Larrakia Declaration and UNDRIP; provides specialist advisory services on Indigenous rights-based tourism; and has developed a global network of stakeholders which currently extends to 66 countries.

From WINTA’s perspective, the Arctisen project is a splendid opportunity to consult a range of tourism industry stakeholders in the Arctic, in order to develop the concept of cultural sensitivity for practical implementation in the Arctic.