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That’s a wrap for the Indigenous Tourism Conference in Cairns

20 June 2022

The Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference 2022 (AITIC2022) recently held in Cairns was an overwhelming success.

We proudly partnered with the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Council to sponsor the conference, which attracted more than 280 delegates from across Australia for 3 days of thought-provoking insights from tourism experts and industry leading organisations.

The conference was hosted by WAITOC from 16-19 June and gave Queensland Indigenous tourism businesses a platform to meet, learn from and forge new partnerships with wholesale and retail operators, as well as showcase their businesses while spending time in one of Australia’s most iconic tourism destinations.

North Queensland, and in particular the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji land in Cairns, is home to around 100 emerging or operational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism businesses, making it the perfect place to highlight the strength of Indigenous tourism and future opportunities.

We recently announced a $4 million injection to help build the capability of Queensland’s Indigenous tourism sector through the First Nations Tourism Package which will build on the successes of our existing Indigenous tourism initiatives that include the Our Country Advisory Service (OCAS) and the $7 million Growing Indigenous Tourism in Queensland Fund.

The department’s OCAS Development Officers in Cairns, Hervey Bay and Brisbane, have supported more than 200 Qld Indigenous businesses since 2020 to establish and grow their tourism products and services, by giving them access to support, providing advice on ways to pivot businesses, and identifying key business opportunities.

The Growing Indigenous Tourism in Queensland Fund (GITQ) has supported more than 65 businesses to plan and deliver new, unique and innovative Indigenous tourism products and experiences in Queensland, particularly in regional areas.

Some of the projects that have been delivered or are in progress include the Saltwater Club, who is delivering a number of historically significant tall ships to showcase the unique seafaring culture, heritage and traditions of First Nations people and their connection to sea country. The Giji Café at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre has also opened, which includes training for staff and a commercial kitchen facility at the Port of Bundaberg to help young Indigenous people find employment in the hospitality industry. The Bonye Biar Bush University in Southern Queensland is delivering 'In-Country' learning spaces in the Bunya Mountains, where Aboriginal lore and culture can be revived and appropriately shared with visitors to the region.