Tourists to World Heritage Listed Fraser Island (K’gari) and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities could soon immerse themselves in cultural experiences, guided walking tours and a step back in time to learn ancient ways of life.
Numerous new experiences are on the drawing board with the creation of a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism industry body in Queensland, which is tapping into the growing demand for Indigenous tourism.
Queensland tourism industry representatives have been on a road trip around the state, collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from the Cape to Brisbane to promote unique experiences.
Starting Indigenous tourism ventures has previously been difficult due to a lack of capital, but the creation of the new industry body aims to address that.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s deputy chair and Quandamooka man Cameron Costello said the state had a unique opportunity to lead the country in cultural tourism offerings.
“The cultural awakening within the tourism sector is an important part of the process,” Mr Costello said.
“There’s always been a desire for enhanced Indigenous experiences, but more and more domestic tourists are wanting to understand and learn the rich stories that we have, the sense of place and identity.
Mr Costello said the group was halfway through its Queensland road trip, with a draft plan for the structure of the new industry body on track to be ready by NAIDOC week in July.
“We’ve visited Brisbane and Barcaldine, Longreach, Mossman and Cairns and Hervey Bay and Bundaberg which has been amazing to speak to traditional owners, Indigenous tourism operators, key stakeholders and local councils,” he said.
“Some tourism ventures might be emerging businesses that need start-up support over three years, some might need marketing support, some might be about advocating on significant issues in the sector.”
Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons said there was a great opportunity to develop more Aboriginal tourism experiences in the region, particularly on Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island.
“Tourism is a business. You just can’t jump into tourism and say, ‘I’ve got this product’.
“One suggestion is to recruit and have Indigenous people as part of current products so they get to learn and understand how tourism works and then they get enough experience to do that on their own.”
Mr Simons said the industry body would work alongside the government body Tourism and Events Queensland and the independent Queensland Tourism Industry Council.
Mr Costello said with the assistance of the new entity, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism, would be able to support more jobs, improve Indigenous economies and progress the path to reconciliation.
“Within our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities there is this real thirst to walk together on a journey of reconciliation and tourism is one of the key ways of doing that,” he said.
Thanks for stopping by and checking this post involving “News & What’s On in Brisbane” titled “Thirst for Indigenous tourism prompts creation of Queensland industry body”. This news article was posted by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local and national events & what’s on news services.
#Thirst #Indigenous #tourism #prompts #creation #Queensland #industry #body