Indigenous tourism – a star performer over the past decade – is among the hardest hit sectors of the  Australia’s travel industry from COVID border restrictions with a new report revealing its heavy dependence on wealthy international visitors.

The Indigenous Tourism Sector Analysis commissioned by Tourism and Events Queensland shows that international tourists accounted for at least 65% of participants in the state’s indigenous tourism visitors, a trend echoed around Australia.

Of these 25% were from China, 15% United States and 10% United Kingdom.

The report also reveals that the sector faced challenges pre-COVID with indigenous tourism visitors slumping from 428,000 to 424,000 in 2018/19 after outstanding growth of 55% in the preceding four years. 

Spending in 2018/19 did increase however and reached a record $505 million, up 15% year on year. 

These findings were revealed as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the 2020 Year of Indigenous Tourism will extend into 2021.

“Extending this state-wide promotion will play a vital role in our economic recovery,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The Indigenous Tourism Sector Analysis research was conducted by the University of Queensland and Griffith University. Download report.


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