The Palaszczuk Government has launched a new $10 million Indigenous tourism fund to create economic opportunities and jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the Growing Indigenous Tourism in Queensland Fund was being delivered as part of the 2020 Year of Indigenous Tourism in Queensland.
Ms Jones said the fund set out to support new, unique and innovative Indigenous tourism products and experiences in Queensland, particularly in regional areas.
“Launching a new business or tourism experience is tough. This program is about helping Indigenous tourism businesses to get established,” she said.
The fund comprises two categories. There is up to $25,000 available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enterprises, like Aboriginal corporations, Prescribed Body Corporates, Indigenous tourism businesses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils, to develop a concept for an Indigenous tourism product or experience.
This can include developing a feasibility study for an Aboriginal cultural interpretation centre or a concept plan for a heritage-based cycling experience in country.
The second category offers $250,000 to $1 million to Indigenous businesses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils for projects that improve or develop key tourism infrastructure and facilities or provide a unique tourism experience.
Examples include guided bush tucker walks on country, visiting ancient rock art sites and learning about country and culture from a Traditional Owner, improving tourism infrastructure to protect cultural heritage sites and developing public Indigenous walks and tracks.
“Queensland can be the capital for Indigenous tourism experiences in Australia – this fund is a great step in the right direction,” Ms Jones said.
“By investing in tourism we can create jobs and new opportunities for Indigenous Queenslanders. That’s what this initiative is all about.
“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.
Queensland is home to a number of inspiring and interactive Indigenous tourism experiences, including the Dreamworld Corroboree experience 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.
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.