Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones has today officially opened the Palaszczuk Government’s $7 million Growing Indigenous Tourism in Queensland Fund.
Ms Jones said applications were now open for the fund which is designed to support new indigenous tourism attractions, regional ecotourism experiences and indigenous-owned tourism businesses to create jobs.
“More tourists than ever before want to experience indigenous culture when they come to Australia,” she said.
“This is about tapping into that demand to create jobs for indigenous Queenslanders in the tourism industry.
“Queensland is Australia’s capital for indigenous tourism. These grants will help us build on that – providing support for indigenous businesses to grow and develop new attractions that will make us the envy of other states.”
Ms Jones said the fund offered two types of grants that were available to Indigenous owned tourism businesses, Aboriginal Corporations, Prescribed Body Corporates and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Councils:
- Up to $25 000 to develop a concept for a new Indigenous tourism product or experience (could include developing a feasibility study for an Aboriginal cultural interpretation centre or a concept plan for a heritage-based cycling experience on country)
- Up to $1 million for projects that improve or develop key tourism infrastructure and facilities or provide a unique tourism experience (like guided bush walks on country, ancient rock art sites)
Ms Jones said supporting indigenous Queenslanders to bring forward new tourism experiences in regional areas was a natural progression and would provide great opportunities for regional communities.
“Already we’ve got a great portfolio of indigenous tourism experiences – from the Dreamworld Corroboree on the Gold Coast, the Spirit of Red Sands theatre show at Beenleigh, the Dreamtime Dive off Cairns, the Mossman Gorge Centre and walks, the internationally renowned Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and on-country experiences like Walkabout Cultural Adventures.
“We want to support the growth of more of these types of attractions that will not only offer unique experiences.”
“We’ve seen some great funding applications from indigenous tourism businesses for our other infrastructure programs which have seen the State Government support projects like Tallaroo Hot Springs, Aboriginal cultural and ecotourism near Aramac, and the Desert Dreaming Centre in Barcaldine.
“I know there are many other indigenous businesses keen to grow and develop more experiences for tourists.”
QTIC CEO Daniel Gschwind said, “Celebrating the Year of Indigenous Tourism here in Queensland gives us the perfect stage to focus on the unique tourism opportunities that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures offer.
“We will be more successful as a destination and as a community with more Indigenous tourism businesses, more Indigenous entrepreneurs and more Indigenous employees.
“QTIC is a proud partner with Indigenous stakeholder, the tourism industry and the Queensland Government in making this initiative a long lasting success for our state”.
The 2020 Year of Indigenous Tourism in Queensland follows on from the highly successful 2019 Year of Outback Tourism.
Applications for the fund closes on 21 April 2020.
For more info, visit www.ditid.qld.gov.au/tourism/indigenous-tourism.