Abstract: The present research models Indigenist research methodology, embedded within the marketing discipline, to investigate barriers to Australians participating in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism. Interviews with operators showed that they are keen to attract more Australian consumers, and almost half of Australians surveyed online reported they have some probability of participating in the next five years, yet Australian participation is still low. Foundational to the present research is enacting an Indigenist research methodology (Rigney, L-I 1999), through application of mixed-methods research design, a circular stakeholder engagement approach is achieved through continual operator engagement to ensure that operators are fully represented throughout the research process. Nine operators from six remote Aboriginal tourism businesses that reflected industry variance, including operational models, job descriptions and region/climate types, were interviewed to develop an understanding of the marketing issues affecting them, and what they believe to be the barriers to Australian participation. These interviews informed the development of a survey, administered online, designed to reveal what potential Australian customers associate with remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism and their probability of participation. Interview results suggest that operators are keen to understand how to market to domestic consumers, yet remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism held very low recall as a form of tourism available in remote areas among the 947 survey respondents. This extends knowledge that Mental Availability is an indicator of brand share (Sharp, B 2010) and that brands with lower market share are bought less often by fewer people (Uncles, Ehrenberg & Hammond 1995) to this context and explains why this low recall may contribute to low participation by Australians. However, survey results suggest that rejection levels for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism are much higher than expected, which refutes previous findings regarding expected levels of rejection (Bogomolova & Romaniuk 2009), and suggests that this may also contribute to low participation by Australians and provide insight into the compounding factors that affect participation in this industry.
Research Notes: B31, Feb NL