Indigenous tourism businesses in Tropical North Queensland have the opportunity to develop new infrastructure with $1.1 million in matched funding from the State Government.
The call for expressions of interest came last week when the region’s rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture was on show through various NAIDOC Week celebrations and the Cairns and Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF).
I attended many of these events including the CIAF opening, NAIDOC breakfast in Cairns, and the Douglas Shire flag raising ceremony and public artwork unveiling, and was wowed by the moving performances and incredible art that I saw.
I encourage all Indigenous tourism businesses to consider whether they can fill a gap in the region’s current product offerings.
We are looking for an innovative product that adds to our Indigenous tourism experiences and becomes a must-do for the Chinese so we can increase Chinese visitation and overnight visitor expenditure.
China is our largest international market and has enormous potential with direct airline services to Cairns.
We need to keep that market excited about Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef region by offering new experiences that appeal to the high-value travellers we want to attract.
The Palaszczuk Government has committed $1.5 million from the Connecting with Asia Fund to expand or develop a new Indigenous tourism product or introduce new Indigenous tourism infrastructure.
The funding has also been used to research what Chinese travellers are looking for and
Indigenous experiences can access this research to make sure they are providing what the Chinese traveller wants.
Email [email protected] for an application form. Applications open August 1 and close 5pm September 14 with notifications by October 30.
Applications will be assessed against evaluation criteria by a panel and will be subject to due diligence including financial and economic assessments.
Indigenous tourism is the third pillar for our region and the key to offering a deeper insight into our spectacular World Heritage areas.
It is an ideal economic opportunity for Traditional Owners to share their culture and educate others about their extraordinary history.
Chief Executive Officer