Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the Year of Indigenous Tourism will extend into 2021 as the Queensland tourism industry continues to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Queensland’s tourism and events industry is enduring an incredibly difficult year due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.
“And Its common sense now to extend the Year of Indigenous Tourism through into 2021, so we can further boost the profile of Indigenous experiences in Queensland as our state recovers from the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Extending this state-wide promotion will play a vital role in our economic recovery as today’s release of an extensive study of this growing sector shows,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Now, more and more tourists want a cultural experience when they travel and Queensland is perfectly placed to capitalise on that demand.
“Earlier this year, we announced a new $10m Indigenous tourism fund as part of the Year of Indigenous Tourism to help further develop this sector of the industry and create economic opportunities and jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
“The bulk of this funding has not been spent as specific promotions and programs were forced on hold while we dealt with the Covid-19 outbreak.
“However, we are committed to ensuring we position Queensland as the nation’s leader in Indigenous tourism.
“And we are well on the way to achieving that.” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The new report by the government revealed Indigenous tourism supports $505 million in visitor expenditure in Queensland in a normal year and employs nearly 2500 people on a full-time basis.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the new Indigenous Tourism Sector Analysis report released by Tourism and Events Queensland today shows more than 420,000 visitors take part in an Indigenous tourism activity every year.
“This comprehensive supply and demand study is the first of its kind into Indigenous tourism in Queensland,” Minister Jones said.
“It proves just how important Indigenous tourism will be to the future of the whole industry in Queensland.
“Cultural experiences will be integral to a resurgence in international tourism as the recovery kicks in following COVID-19.
“That’s why we’re working hard now to put in the ground work on new projects that will create jobs and lure more tourists to Queensland.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences are a fast-growing part of Queensland’s tourism industry, with this study showing the number of visitors participating in Indigenous tourism activities is growing at an average of 11.2 per cent per year.”
Ms Jones said the report found the potential for the Indigenous tourism sector promising, with the industry on a ‘positive trajectory of sustainable growth and development’.
“Not only has this study provided us with a better understanding of the value of Indigenous tourism to Queensland, but it gives us insights into how we can continue to grow and develop this important sector of Queensland’s tourism industry,” Ms Jones said.
“The report stated that Indigenous tourism businesses in Queensland are in a unique position to consolidate efforts of the last 10 years by strategically capitalising on the Year of Indigenous Tourism and the launch of the Queensland First Nations Tourism Plan earlier this year.
“Tourists and holidaymakers are seeking an authentic experience. When they travel they really want to delve into the local culture, understand a destination’s people and leave feeling more enriched.
“The growing number of visitor experiences on offer is a fantastic way to showcase Queensland’s rich Indigenous heritage to travellers and provide insights and appreciation of Australia’s history and traditions, which date back more than 60,000 years.
“From Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and the renowned Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park north of Cairns to the incredible natural setting of Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast and a host of new experiences being developed with the Quandamooka people on Minjerribah, Queensland is the best place for tourists to discover Australia’s ancient culture.”
The Indigenous Tourism Sector Analysis was commissioned by TEQ, with the research conducted by the University of Queensland and Griffith University.