Indigenous tourism reaches across the Pacific
The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) and Destination IQ are pleased to announce that the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Indigenous Tourism Association Canada, Keith Henry, will be this year’s guest speaker at Destination IQ to be held on Wednesday 6 November on the Sunshine Coast.
Mr Henry will bring a wealth of knowledge on Indigenous tourism and give Australian operators and administrator a great insight into how our Pacific partners have successfully integrated First Nation experiences into the tourism offering.
“The Indigenous tourism landscape in Canada lacked vision and a clear plan to grow. Today Canada has proudly built Indigenous tourism in a responsible and in an authentic way. There is now a new Indigenous tourism vision, by Indigenous people, for Indigenous tourism.
“The world interest in Indigenous tourism is growing and there has never been a more important time to create international Indigenous destinations. Indigenous people across the world bring important cultural, social, and environmental values to visitors. The world needs more Indigenous experiences.
“There are untapped domestic and international demands for Indigenous experiences. A responsible approach will bring new sustainability for the Indigenous people and our communities,” said Mr Henry.
QTIC’s Indigenous Program Manager, Rhonda Appo, has been working closely with Keith to bring him to Australia and says,
“I am looking forward to sharing our Indigenous culture with him and learning how Indigenous Tourism in Canada has become so successful.
“Indigenous Tourism in Canada is much more advanced than here in Australia and we have a long way to go and there is something to be learnt from what has been achieved in Canada. Their success and their struggle to get there can offer us lots of insight.
“We are in the process of developing the first ever ‘First Nations Tourism Potential Plan’ for Queensland and what we can learn from Keith will benefit the Plan”.
Mr Henry will be attending DestinationIQ, DestinationQ and the Queensland Tourism Awards on his visit, along with a trip to Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) to meet with elders and participate in other Indigenous experiences here in Queensland.
Ms Appo added, “Destination IQ (formerly the QTIC Indigenous Tourism and Employment Forum) brings together business leaders, employers, government representatives, tourism organisations, native title holders and community organisations to discuss important issues, opportunities and strategies for supporting First Nations tourism and employment across the state”.
This is the most significant event on the Queenslander Tourism Industry calendar, bringing together the whole of industry. DestinationQ shows the power of partnership across the tourism network and to have Keith attend will allow Queensland to better enhance a sustainable growth of our First Nations tourism.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones MP commended QTIC on bringing a Canadian perspective on cultural tourism to Destination IQ.
“Jobs in tourism are projected to grow twice as fast as the rest of the economy over the next 10 years and we want cultural tourism to contribute to these jobs,” said Minister Jones.
The visit to Queensland by Keith Henry is supported by the Queensland Government.