The state government has decided to extend the Year of Indigenous Tourism into 2021, to better help the Queensland economy recover from the effects of coronavirus.
Indigenous tourism experiences support over $500 million in visitor expenditure each year in Queensland, accorded to new analysis released by Tourism and Events Queensland today.
Earlier in the year, the state announced a new $10 million Indigenous tourism fund to help develop the sector, but because of the coronavirus shutdown, a lot of that money wasn’t spent, with various promotions and programs forced on hold.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
With the Year of Indigenous Tourism extended into next year, that money can now be spent boosting the profile of Indigenous experiences in Queensland.
But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the sector will play a vital role in recovering the wider Queensland economy as well.
“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 analysis report released today, is the first of its kind into the Indigenous tourism sector.
It shows 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 says 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.
“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,” Minister Jones said.
The Indigenous Tourism Sector Analysis was commissioned by TEQ, with the research conducted by the University of Queensland and Griffith University.