ResearchCrowd is pleased to learn that 2021 is the Year of Indigenous Tourism in Queensland! Those of you familiar with our work may remember that we conducted an evaluation of the remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait tourism owned and operated enterprises for the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Participation, managed by Ninti One. We wrote,
Remote tourism offers a unique kaleidoscope of pristine destinations and an assortment of alluring experiences; drawing new spending to the region, creating demand for services and generating new investment. However, remote tourism is not without its challenges. One such challenge relates to the seasonal nature of operations and the ebb and flow of a specialist labour force. Additional challenges include: global and national economic conditions, exchange rates and interest rates; political, religious and/or ideological terrorism and security threats; extreme climatic events and climate change; and the outbreak and spread of epidemics and pandemics; and so on.
Source: ResearchCrowd, Evaluation Report 2016: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Product Project, 2016, p.12
Sadly, this has come to pass. When we read back through our report in the context of the current global pandemic, we are filled with mixed emotions. While we are pleased that the Year of Indigenous Tourism in Queensland has been extended to 2021, we are saddened to hear about the closing of Tjapukai – a pioneering champion of cultural tourism in Tropical North Queensland and a source of immense pride to the Djabugay people, and indeed the nation as a whole. Once the lockdown is over, we hope you will visit an Indigenous tourism enterprise and join us in celebrating the Year of Indigenous Tourism in Queensland. Queensland is an epic destination. We have something for everyone – from bustling cities to remote communities, from deep blue waters to red sandy plains, from exhilarating adventures to simply lazing about, from listening to cultural stories to joining live performances, from exploring native plants to spotting amazing wildlife, from tasting bush tucker to enjoying fine dining, and much, much more! Check out the video below and celebrate with us.
And, shout out to the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QITC) Indigenous Champions! The QITC does an awesome job in supporting our network of Indigenous Champions to showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural tourism to the world. Click here to learn more about the Indigenous Champions Network.