Abstract: Indigenous tourism1 has been identified as providing significant competitive market advantage for the Australian tourism industry as well as considerable economic opportunities for desert communities. However, at the present time many Indigenous businesses find it difficult to achieve sustainability. This paper examines some of the difficulties faced by the sector as well as some initiatives that could improve the sector’s performance. A holistic approach needs to be taken to develop sustainable Indigenous tourism businesses. There is potential for the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (DKCRC) to take a leading role in the sector by undertaking applied research as well as providing specific industry development programs. This paper presents a conceptual model of the DKCRC as well as a new 10-step program that the DKCRC could implement to improve the sector’s performance.