Tribal Warrior

Dec 21, 2023 | Case Study

Tribal Warrior
Aboriginal Cruise Operator
Eora / Sydney, NSW

Tribal Warrior is a not-for-profit organisation started in 1998 when a group of Redfern residents passionate about their heritage came together with the vision of revitalising Aboriginal culture through economic and social stability.

Seeking to offer local men the opportunity of cultural engagement while finding employment the founders began the venture with maritime training. From their starting philosophy, Tribal Warrior has now expanded into a successful social enterprise to grow employment, wealth generation opportunities and strong cultural bonds for their community.

With a desire to proudly share their unique cultural heritage and the wealth of knowledge held by their Elders and community with the world, Tribal Warrior began their transition to the tourism industry. ECO Certification was one of the first accreditations the company applied for after beginning their tourism venture.

“ECO Certification made sense for us to be associated with as it was an organisation that promoted and endorsed nature-based tourism. As an Aboriginal owned and operated business, our core beliefs really align with Ecotourism Australia – connecting to culture and connecting to country is what we provide,” said Marie Hiles, Operations Manager at Tribal Warrior.

For their business, they have seen the positive benefit that ECO Certification can bring to their visitor experience.

“ECO Certification provides a benchmark for our business to provide high quality experiences for the market it has opened our doors to. During our 10 years of membership, we have seen a marginal increase in our business.”

To complement their ECO Certification and receive recognition for their commitment to authentic Aboriginal tourism they have also achieved Respecting Our Culture (ROC) Certification with Ecotourism Australia. Tribal Warrior actively engages with their local community through programs like their Clean Slate Without Prejudice initiative which supports Indigenous youth in the community to learn and practice culture, routine, discipline, and respect through mentoring and group activities.

“Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Cultural Cruises are most proud of our socio-economic sustainability over many years. Through our tourism product, we have provided our Aboriginal community with employment opportunities they may never have imagined being involved in,” said Marie.

“Most importantly though is the sharing of our beautiful culture to the younger generations. This has kept our long-lived culture alive and provided job opportunities as Cultural Educators and performers.”

Through the transition to tourism and commitment to best practice sustainability and cultural respect, they have witnessed the strengthening of their community as well as the growing interest of visitors in cultural tourism.

“Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Cultural Cruises keeps our culture and history of Sydney Harbour alive, along with the deep connection we hold to country. Our tourism product gives back to the community of Redfern through revenue streams that keep grass roots programs running in the area,” shared Marie.

“Our cruises are informative and transformative for the passengers that come onboard to see and hear the stories of the oldest continuous living culture in the world.”

For the past 10 years, Tribal Warrior has continuously invested in best-practice sustainability for their visitor experiences that addresses the four pillars of sustainability: environmental, socio-economic, cultural and sustainable management. Having achieved a decade of ECO Certification, the company was appointed as a Green Travel Leader in 2023.

Check out Tribal Warrior’s Cultural Cruise on the Green Travel Guide: https://greentravelguide.org/listing/tribal-warrior

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