Sixty Seven Percent you say
Like any good tourism professional, every now and then I force my colleague to send me some data about any changes in the First Nations Tourism sector. It just so happened that Tourism Research Australia recently released the latest stats to give us an indication of how many people are taking part in Indigenous experiences.
When I first started in the role, I felt a bit ordinary and thought I was in for a long ride given the static nature of the statistics. At that time I saw my role as playing round the edges thinking it was bigger than us, but secretly hoping that like a boomerang the numbers would come bouncing back. Wow have they done just that! I was right to set my girl on the data today, what she came up with not only filled me with hope but is wine worthy (so please excuse any mistakes that may follow….).
What we have seen is, that in Queensland there has been a 67.29% increase in Indigenous experience participation between 2014 and 2019. What that means in Rhonda terms is that we have deadly experiences that are showcasing our culture, telling out truths and offering experiences that people cannot get anywhere else in the world. Ohh hang on I forget to mention that’s the domestic tourists. I have been in so many discussions where I have been told that Australian’s don’t care about our culture or heritage, that they are not interested in these experiences. But these stats tell me this is not true! As my data loving friend tells me, this is off a relatively small base and that the numbers are still only a small proportion of all domestic travellers – but if we can grow 67% in 5 years with no strategy and no real marketing drive, imagine what we can do now that we have all this in place!
Looking at our international market, over the same time period (2014-2019) we had a 34.97% growth! Again, Indigenous experience are more in demand than ever before. People are interested, they are willing to seek out the product and thankfully there is more authentic product coming on-board to service this growing demand.
The Qld Government was right to stick its neck out and champion the Year of Indigenous Tourism. To prioritise this growing sector and to further galvanise this interest is perfectly timed – with a little thanks to the Voice of Tourism leading the way in the lobbying efforts to get this off the ground. With announcements coming soon about what the Year of Indigenous Tourism will mean for the state, we just know that in the next five years these stats are going to look even more significant!!
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