Work is underway to implement the newly launched Tropical North Queensland First Nations Tourism Action Plan and embrace the full potential of Indigenous tourism in the region.
Tropical North Queensland Indigenous Experiences Cluster Group Chair Dale Mundraby co-chaired the plan’s steering committee alongside Juan Walker, with 12 months of consultation undertaken throughout the region.
Mr Mundraby said the action plan was a roadmap that would make a significant impact on First Nations tourism by embracing its potential and connecting visitors in a respectful way to Country, culture and the people at the heart of it.
“The plan aims to double both the number of Indigenous experiences and the number of Indigenous people employed in the Tropical North Queensland tourism industry in the region by 2032 with all tourism entities formally acknowledging Country.
“The number of visitors having an Indigenous experience is targeted to grow from 12% to 30% by 2032 with the number of visitors participating in regenerative tourism supporting Country and culture doubling.
Co-chair Juan Walker said the fundamental principle that all tourism occurs on Country was at the heart of the plan.
“Our tourism sector must commit to assisting local communities to design and deliver appropriate tourism experiences that deliver sustainable benefits to our communities and ensure culture and Country for future generations,” he said.
“In return we will work with the sector to educate, collaborate and deliver awe-inspiring destination experiences that will position Tropical North Queensland as a global leader in tourism.
“I encourage our First Nations people to embrace the opportunities, take initiative and utilise the plan to achieve their goals.”
Member for Cairns and Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy said Tropical North Queensland had enormous potential to grow cultural tourism experiences.
“Tropical North Queensland is known for its diverse line up of holidaymaker attractions, but we know First Nations cultural experiences are increasingly sought after by visitors to this region,” Mr Healy said.
‘‘I want to thank Tourism Tropical North Queensland and the steering committee for their initiative and expertise in developing an Action Plan for local First Nations jobs and international visitor recovery.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe MP welcomed the First Nations Tourism Action Plan.
“The industry led Towards Tourism 2032 roadmap is about harnessing Queensland’s iconic natural and cultural assets to transform Queensland’s visitor economy and grow good tourism jobs,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Queensland is uniquely placed to become an international leader in genuine First Nations visitor experiences and that’s exactly what this Action Plan by TTNQ is designed to achieve.
“We’re home to the world’s oldest living Indigenous cultures, which we have a wonderful opportunity to share globally ahead of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.”
Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said the growing interest in authentic cultural experiences across the world was demonstrated at the Australian Tourism Exchange last week where the international travel trade were eager to learn about new Indigenous product.
“The Tropical North Queensland First Nations Tourism Action Plan is the voice of our region’s First Nations people to ensure that First Nations tourism grows in a respectful way,” he said.
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.