The Palaszczuk Government is working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop an Indigenous tourism strategy for South East Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said South East Queensland offered a range of Indigenous tourism experiences, from the Dreamworld Corroboree experience on the Gold Coast to the Spirit of the Red Sands theatre show in Beenleigh and Brisbane’s Meeanjin markets.
“In this Year of Indigenous Tourism, we are placing a stronger focus on Queensland’s culture and heritage,” she said.
“The demand for cultural tourism experiences is booming globally. We’re committed to tapping into that growing demand to create jobs in Queensland.”
The Premier said the latest Tourism Research Australia data showed 351,000 international visitors to Queensland took part in an Indigenous tourism activity in the last year, such as visiting an Indigenous cultural centre or taking a tour with an Indigenous guide.
The data also shows around 116,000 domestic overnight trips to Queensland included an Aboriginal tourism experience.
“From the rich art, music, stories and dance of Traditional Owners to the wealth of knowledge that Indigenous people can tell visitors about country – Queensland has an opportunity to be a world leader in the cultural tourism space,” she said.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the Palaszczuk Government wanted to give tourists greater access to Indigenous cultural experiences and to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with more business and employment opportunities.
The development of a South East Queensland Indigenous Tourism Strategy follows a recent meeting between the Minister and the region’s Traditional Owner groups.
“As a result of that meeting, the Traditional Owner groups formed a South East Queensland Indigenous Tourism Working Group covering the region from K’gari (Fraser Island) to the southern end of the Gold Coast and inland to the Lockyer Valley,” Ms Jones said.
“The Working Group will identify gaps and opportunities to develop the tourism industry to deliver broad benefits across the entire region.”
“For example, we’re currently working with the Kabi Kabi people on the Cooloola Great Walk and with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation to establish a five-year strategy for sustainable tourism on Quandamooka Country on Mulgumpin (Moreton) and Minjerribah (North Stradbroke) islands.”
Kabi Kabi business developer Brian Warner, who is on the Working Group, said one of the outcomes he would like to see come out of the strategy among the Traditional Owner groups was to create a tourism experience based on songlines throughout South East Queensland.
“So we can look to give tourists a holistic experience of Indigenous cultures in South East Queensland – using our songlines to showcase Traditional Owner connection to country across the region’s diverse environments, from rainforest to sea to mountains.
“For example, a tourist could take a whale watching tour with the Quandamooka people followed by a tour of the Headland section of Noosa National Park with the Kabi Kabi people.”
“In that way, we could provide a big picture of South East Queensland.”
The 2020 Year of Queensland Indigenous Tourism follows on from the highly successful 2019 Year of Outback Tourism promoting Outback Queensland tourism, history, culture, events and achievements – contributing to the State’s $27 billion tourism industry and supporting 236,000 jobs.