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Drive to expand Indigenous tourism in South-East QLD



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Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson

Drive to Expand Indigenous Tourism in South-East QLD

28 March 2012

A proposal to triple the amount tourists spend on Aboriginal tourism in the Yugambeh language region of South-East Queensland was celebrated by local tourism operators and the Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP at Beenleigh today.

Minister Ferguson witnessed the signing of a partnership agreement between the Yugambeh Museum at Beenleigh and four key tourism stakeholders in the region, the Jaran Dance Troupe, Dreamworld, International Park Tours and Kalwun Dreaming Tours.

The agreement is part of a $176,000 project by the Museum to boost Indigenous tourism activity in South-East Queensland, supported by an $88,000 Australian Government T-QUAL Grant - Tourism Quality Projects program.

“The Yugambeh Museum has identified the potential for growth of local Aboriginal tourist experiences in South-East Queensland,” Minister Ferguson said.

“The Museum is working to increase the annual Aboriginal tourism dollar spend of $3 million to $10 million in South-East Queensland over the next three years.

“The Government's T-QUAL grant is helping the Museum research and trial Indigenous tourism opportunities, develop cultural competency and education services for tourism operators, and develop an Indigenous Tourism Action Strategy for the region.

“The Australian Government is committed to the long-term growth of Indigenous tourism, and strongly endorses Yugambeh’s initiatives."

In 2010, Tourism Research Australia found that international and domestic Indigenous tourism visitors spent a total of $3.8 billion around Australia, and Minister Ferguson said the potential exists for South-East Queensland to benefit from a much larger share of this spending in the future.

"Indigenous tourism not only helps preserve culture, and assists cultural understanding and tolerance, but it is what many of our international visitors want to experience.

"Strengthening this segment of the tourism market is important for Indigenous economic development and the broader local community.

"The 2012 round of T-QUAL grants is now open, and I would encourage any tourism businesses with innovative Indigenous tourism-related projects to apply by the 19th of April,” Minister Ferguson said.

More information on T-QUAL Grants is available at www.ret.gov.au/tqual

Media Contact: Cathryn Tilmouth - 0401 222 941