The Premier has tonight announced next year would be dedicated to First Nations experiences in Queensland, in front of a packed audience at the Queensland Tourism Awards on the Sunshine Coast.
Buoyed by the success of this year’s record-breaking Year of Outback Tourism campaign, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared 2020 the Year of Indigenous Tourism.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been proudly practicing and preserving their cultures by sharing it with the next generation for tens of thousands of years,” the Premier said.
“In recent times, their culture and stories have been an integral part of our tourism industry, attracting people from all around the world to learn and experience more about the world’s oldest living cultures.
“During the last financial year almost half a million visitors to Queensland took part in First Nations experiences like visiting an Aboriginal art gallery or festival, visiting an Aboriginal cultural site or community or taking a tour with an Indigenous guide or ranger.
“More tourists than ever before want a cultural experience when they travel and Queensland is perfectly placed to capitalise on that demand.
“That’s why we’re also committing $3.4 million over the next two years to create tourism jobs for Indigenous Queenslanders and to position the state as the nation’s leader in Indigenous tourism.”
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the 2019 Year of Outback Tourism campaign smashed records and she was excited for what’s in store in 2020.
“It’s been a whip-cracking year for outback tourism with more than one million tourists visiting the bush and spending a record $724 million in the last financial year.
“This was a dedicated campaign to encourage more visitors to the outback and to support our region’s doing it tough due to the long-running drought, and it worked.
“The Year of the Outback Tourism has been so successful, we are extending the initiative into 2020 with even more events being delivered to showcase our extraordinary outback destinations and support rural and remote communities.”
The Premier said despite it being a challenging year due to natural disasters, it was a record-breaking year for Queensland’s tourism industry and she was proud to be able to celebrate with industry at the Queensland Tourism Awards.
Hosted by Queensland Tourism Industry Council, more than 80 awards will be presented across 28 categories including two RACQ People’s Choice Awards.
“Queensland’s tourism sector is flourishing with a record 28 million tourists visiting the Sunshine State in the year to June 2019 and spending a record $24.8 billion,” the Premier said.
“Tourism means jobs and economic growth and my Government continues to deliver both in spades throughout Queensland and especially in our regions.
“We have increased jobs in tourism by more than 15 per cent since 2015, with 236,000 Queenslanders directly or indirectly employed in the industry.
“That’s one job in every 10 which is more than agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining industries combined.
“It has been a challenging year with drought, floods and bushfires affecting regional Queensland and my Government is working with our regions to support our communities in every way.
“We’re investing $180 million in new attractions, events, products and experiences and we have more than $14 billion in the pipeline including investment in our Great Barrier Reef islands.
“We invest in tourism to create jobs for Queenslanders.”