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First Nations tourism flourishing in Tropical North Qld

Australian holiday travellers experiencing Indigenous tourism in Tropical North Queensland are spending almost three times more than they did before the pandemic and staying longer in the destination.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said a deep dive into the National Visitor Survey for 2022-23 showed $315 million was spent by holidaying Australians who participated in an Indigenous experience, accounting for 12.5 per cent of the region’s $2.5 billion domestic holiday expenditure.

“While just 4.5 per cent of holiday makers participated in an Indigenous experience, this figure increases to 6.3 per cent of holiday nights suggesting that the people enjoying Indigenous experiences are staying longer and spending more in the region,” he said.

“Tropical North Queensland has become the No.1 regional area for participation in Indigenous experiences by Australian travellers, with only the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth where visitor numbers are greater outstripping our destination’s participation rate.”

Tropical North Queensland Indigenous Experiences Cluster Group Chair Dale Mundraby said there had been solid progress in elevating the profile and quantity of First Nations product for visitors since the Tropical North Queensland First Nations Tourism Plan was launched in May by Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.

The Minister is attending the TNQ Indigenous Experiences Cluster Group meeting today (October 6) to hear about the progress of the action plan.

Mr Mundraby said nine of the 2032 targets had progressed with a record number of 38 operators participating in the region’s Deeper into Dreaming brochure promoting First Nations cultural experiences.

“There are 32 Tropical North Queensland products in the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse which feeds their information through to key websites including Tourism Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland’s destination websites,” he said.

“This exceeds the target of 30 set for 2032 and the fact that 12 were added over the past year speaks volumes of the work by the region’s Indigenous tourism operators to connect visitors to the country and culture of First Nations people.

“There are now nine operators working with inbound wholesalers to market and sell their product and 12 experiences that can be booked online which will help grow the number of international visitors participating as they return to our region.”