The Cape York Tourism Plan 2016-2021 was developed after broad consultation with stakeholders across the Cape, including Traditional Owners and Councils. It is a living document and will continue to evolve as the tourism industry and infrastructure in Cape York develop and new opportunities arise.
Excerpt: About this plan
- Consultation will be undertaken with TO and Land Trust groups before any action impacting on their land is taken, such as formalising a loop road link and groups will be encouraged to become directly involved in management of the tourism resource
- Consultation will be undertaken with relevant Councils and agreement reached on any installations or actions within their jurisdiction, such as directional and/or interpretive signage
- The Plan is to be read within the context of continuing land tenure issues and Native Title claims and delivery of actions will be influenced to an extent by such issues
- The Tourism Plan is a living document and will continue to evolve as the tourism industry and infrastructure in Cape York develop and new opportunities arise
- The sources of data for the content are wide ranging including all the studies undertaken by CYSF over the past 6 years, CYSF Forums and workshops held through the region, past studies and reports by external agencies, community and council plans and specific tourism related consultants reports.
EXISTING SITUATION 2016 / THE DESTINATION: Tourism is one of the four pillars of the Queensland Governments economic development strategy. The Government has outlined target growth rates to double Queensland’s tourism expenditure from $15Billion to $30Billion per year by 2020 through Destination Q.
Under the State endorsed TNQ Destination Management Plan TNQ is the third priority growth destination out of the 13 Regional Tourism Offices (RTO’s) in QLD. Of the State’s Tourism growth 80% will be from the top 4 RTO’s, TNQ is the only RTO outside of South East Queensland delivering this level of growth for the State. There is potential to grow the tourism industry in TNQ by 77% from $2.6 Billion to $4.6 Billion per year by 2020 (reference DTP, 2014).
Touring is identified in the plan as a primary driver for increase in visitors and expenditure to the region. This action plan will assist in the delivery of the increase in the growth of the Tourism Industry in the region in particular the Drive market.
Cape York is a remote destination and offers a wilderness experience and diverse landscapes. Over 80% of domestic travellers to the region use their own vehicles, the balance using hire cars or commercial tour operations. Cape York has its own distinct identity as an iconic region of northern Australia. The name itself represents the brand and ‘trade mark’.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE OF TOURISM INDUSTRY: Tourism is an emerging industry on Cape York Peninsula that is well behind our nearest neighbour, the Gulf. There are many opportunities available for new tourism product, including Indigenous experiences, which have been explored by CYSF for a number of years with the local Traditional Owner Groups across the Cape. To enable this to happen, there would need to be business support services provided to assist groups in the initial years.
The face of Cape York tourism has been gradually changing over the past few years, but with the progressive sealing of the Peninsula Development Road, the evolution can be expected to pick up pace. The challenge will be to maintain a high level of quality service, environmental management and diversification of attractions and experiences to retain and grow the changing tourist demographic. Cape York has always relied on the drive market, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The changes to tourist visitation expected will see a different type of tourist coming to Cape York. Apart from the 4WD and fishing enthusiasts, visitation will increase (and already has) to include shorter term travellers in conventional vehicles and caravans/motorhomes who can be expected to pursue different interests and who will be looking for quality accommodation and entertainment. Fly in/fly out visitation is also likely to expand. The opportunities opening up are immeasurable and present great potential for jobs and career growth, small business development and investment.