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$4 million boost for Indigenous tourism

02 June 2022

Queensland’s Indigenous tourism sector will get a $4 million injection to build the number of First Nations tourism experiences in Queensland to be ready for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The $4 million First Nations Tourism Package will help build the capability of Queensland’s Indigenous tourism sector to deliver more experiences through supporting Indigenous-owned businesses and Traditional Owner groups with the training, mentoring, guidance and support they need to reap the rewards coming with the 2032 Games.

The First Nations Tourism Package will build on the successes of the Year of Indigenous Tourism and the $7 million Growing Indigenous Tourism Fund.

Thirty-three tourism projects received grant funding during the recent Year of Indigenous Tourism, including “In Country’ learning places in the Bunya Mountains and the Gidji Café at the world-famous Mon Repos Turtle Centre near Bundaberg.

The First Nations Tourism Package will target transformative projects that strengthen the economic participation of Indigenous people and their communities in the visitor economy as well as contribute to building a tourism ecosystem that will deliver long-term benefits and improve the viability of Indigenous-owned tourism businesses.

This includes extending the Queensland Government’s Our Country Advisory Service.

Established in 2020, the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport’s Our Country Advisory Service helps Indigenous businesses to establish and grow their tourism products and services.

Our Country Officers in Cairns, Hervey Bay and Brisbane have supported over 200 Indigenous businesses.

The $4 million First Nations Tourism Package recognises that Traditional Owners have a unique tourism selling point found nowhere else in the world, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the opportunity to run successful tourism operations based on their culture.

Tourism is well placed to contribute to improving the livelihoods of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, helping bolster employment, curb rural flight migration, empower women and young people, and encourage a sense of pride.

Indigenous businesses reinvest revenues in their communities and employ more than 30 times the proportion of Indigenous people than other businesses.

Pre-pandemic, Indigenous tourism was a strong economic driver in Queensland, with the sector supporting $505 million in visitor expenditure and employing 2500 people.

There are about 200 emerging or operational Indigenous tourism businesses in the state, with about 100 of those in Far North Queensland.

They range from guided bush tucker walks on country to showing visitors ancient rock sites. It includes such experiences as the Dreamworld Corroboree experience on the Gold Coast to the Spirit of the Red Sands theatre show in Beenleigh and the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks conducted by the local Indigenous people at Mossman Gorge.

For more information email the Our Country Advisory Service at email