Mr Kapernick continued, “QTIC and the QTIC Champions Network (Supported by the Star Entertainment Group), has advocated for the Year of Indigenous Tourism over the past months off the back of the success of the Year of Outback Tourism. Working tirelessly to support the strategic and sustainable growth of First Nations Tourism in Queensland, this group of volunteer tourism operators, industry stakeholders and leaders have spent the last ten years dedicated to advancing this sector of the industry. It is incredibly exciting to see the rest of the state join in the celebration for 2020”.
The announcement followed on from a successful week of celebrating tourism at the Queensland Tourism Awards, Destination IQ and DestinationQ where international speaker Keith Henry, CEO for Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, provided insight into the success and challenges of Indigenous tourism in Canada.
“We have a story to tell and an opportunity to share our culture. Indigenous tourism needs to be market driven. In your thinking as much as we want to get emotionally attached, the fact is that if we want to help Indigenous communities and businesses, we need to create businesses that will be sustainable,” Mr Henry said.
The Year of Indigenous Tourism comes as Cameron Costello, CEO of Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and QTIC Deputy Chair launched the Queensland First Nations Tourism Plan at Destination IQ. This Plan, led by First Nations people, is the first of its kind in Australia and offers a guiding framework to the strategic and sustainable growth of First Nations tourism in Queensland.
“It is very clear to us that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Queensland want to tell collectively their role and vision in the tourism sector and work with industry and government to help them understand and facilitate these aspirations. Importantly this Plan sets a pathway toward creation of more tourism businesses and jobs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“There is a growing demand for First Nations tourism in Queensland and this is increasing. We have a clear objective for strong sustainable growth, so Queensland becomes the number one Indigenous tourism destination in Australia. The key to this success will be a pan driven and created by First Nations people and built on strong partnerships with industry and government that create authentic experiences.
“Our goals are to promote recognition and respect of First Nations culture, engagement in partnerships, strategic coordination to provide advocacy and support, train and skill the workforce, authentic product development and positioning and promoting First Nations experiences in Queensland,” Mr Costello said.
2020 the Year of Indigenous Tourism will celebrate the unique heritage, diversity of culture and the rich history we have here in Queensland.