New Indigenous art exhibitions increase indigenous tourism potential in TNQ

Aboriginal Art Directory | 20.08.10

Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading
The Honourable Peter Lawlor

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Indigenous art exhibitions increase indigenous tourism potential in TNQ

Tropical North Queensland will increase its Indigenous tourism offering with new Indigenous art exhibitions showcasing inspired artworks from talented locals from around the region.

Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor will officially open Canopy Art Gallery’s first three Indigenous art exhibitions this evening as part of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair celebrations.

Mr Lawlor said Cairns-based Indigenous artist Lisa Michl’s ‘Stories of Pinnarinch’ exhibition would be on display alongside Cairns-born Indigenous artist Jeremy Geia’s “Spirits Without Borders” exhibition and the works of not-for-profit organisation NEWflames’ budding Indigenous artists.

“I’d like to congratulate Canopy Art Gallery and the organisations and artists working together under the Canopy Artspace banner for the contribution they are making to Tropical North Queensland’s art and tourism industries by holding these exhibitions,” he said.

The official opening will commence at 6.00pm with Indigenous artists and industry representatives in attendance.

Mr Lawlor said Indigenous tourism was an important market.

“In the year to March 2010, 76,000 Australians participated in an Indigenous activity while on a trip in Queensland, such as experiencing Aboriginal art or craft, cultural displays, or attending an Aboriginal cultural performance,” he said.

“A further 417,000 international visitors to Queensland participated in Indigenous activities while on their trip within Australia.

“These figures show that Indigenous tourism is a huge drawcard for both domestic and international tourists and also a great way for Queensland’s Indigenous artists to express their creativity.

“In fact, many of Queensland’s key international markets have identified a genuine Indigenous tourism experience is one of international tourists’ ‘must dos’ when visiting Australia.

“The opening of these fantastic exhibitions will no doubt have an impact on the number of visitors coming to Tropical North Queensland.”

Mr Lawlor said the opening of the exhibitions was one of the many events taking place during the Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair, which Tourism Queensland committed $100,000 towards to help attract tourists.

“The campaign, coordinated by Tourism Queensland in partnership with Queensland Events, has included a range of initiatives such as publicity, trade engagement, digital marketing, print, radio, TV and in-flight advertising.

Mr Lawlor said it was important for Tropical North Queensland’s tourism industry to look at new ways to promote its existing attractions to help bring new and repeat visitors to the region.

“Tropical North Queensland already has some of the country’s best Indigenous tourism product, so having a unique annual event such as the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair is a great opportunity to bring more visitors to the region specifically to have an Indigenous tourism experience,” he said.

The Indigenous exhibitions to be opened at the Canopy Art Gallery this evening will run until 25 September.

For more information visit

Further information
Minister’s Office – 07 3225 1005
Tourism Queensland – 3535 5840

20 August 2010


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