Consultation is about to start on the Tropical North Queensland First Nations Tourism Action Plan with workshops to be held across the region to support the development of Indigenous tourism.
The workshops will be held at 13 locations from Innisfail north to Thursday Island and west to Normanton from April 18 to June 14.
Tropical North Queensland Indigenous Experiences Cluster Group Chair Dale Mundraby said the industry group had identified the need for a local, clearly articulated plan for First Nations Tourism to build on the success of the Queensland plan developed by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.
“First Nations-led tourism experiences are increasingly in demand across the world and Tropical North Queensland is ideally placed as the only destination with two World Heritage areas and two national cultures – the Torres Strait Islander people and the Aboriginal people,” he said.
“There is a strong vision for the development of Tropical North Queensland Indigenous tourism products and experiences, but a plan is necessary to guide that vision.
“We need the people with the connection to the environment to showcase our Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest World Heritage areas and create an economy through Indigenous tourism,” he said.
A Steering Committee has been formed to lead the development of the Tropical North Queensland First Nations Tourism Action Plan with Co-Chairs Dale Mundraby, Juan Walker and Willie Enoch-Tranby.
The Committee includes Alicia Haines representing the Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA) Indigenous Advisory Project Plan Group; Gavin Singleton representing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) Indigenous Advisory Group; Mayor Ross Andrews representing the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC); Joann Schmider representing the Indigenous academic community and the Rainforest Aboriginal People; and Fraser Nai representing the emerging Torres Strait tourism industry.
Mr Enoch-Tranby said the Committee would spend the next three months consulting Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders on the framework for the plan.
“There are Indigenous people with great ideas for a tourism business, but they are not sure how to go about it and this plan will give them that direction,” he said.
“The biggest outcomes will be job creation, looking after country, being able to present country, and enabling non-Indigenous people to experience what that connection to country is.”
Workshop dates can be found at tourism.tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au/indigenous-experiences.
The TNQ First Nations Tourism Plan is funded by the Queensland Government through the Year of Indigenous Tourism program, with support from Tourism Tropical North Queensland.