We’ll be meeting with Far North Queensland tourism operators to promote the benefits of accessible and inclusive tourism at the Far North Queensland Accessible Tourism Forum on 3 March.
The forum, held in partnership with Tourism Tropical North Queensland, will discuss findings from our recent investigations into Inclusive Tourism offerings in Far North Queensland (FNQ) and provide insight on how venues and attractions can cater to people with a physical disability and increase their potential audience.
Advocacy Officer – Inclusive Tourism Dane Cross, who has lived experience with spinal cord damage, investigated the accessibility of Cairns and Far North Queensland tourist destinations in late 2019 along with inclusive tourism expert Bill Forrester from TravAbility.
“Our week-long review spent a few jam-packed days in Cairns followed by Kuranda and the Tablelands, then Port Douglas, the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation and concluded with a trip to the Great Barrier Reef,” Dane said.
“While our key focus was on accessibility for wheelchair users, we also considered tourists with other disabilities, including vision or hearing impairment.”
Dane said the review identified a wide variety of accessible activities and attractions in the region, along with a lot of potential for improvement.
“There has been a real effort made by operators and local government areas to keep venues inclusive which is great,’ Dane said.
“But with such a huge tourism market in Far North Queensland, there are still plenty of improvements that can be made.
“It’s not just about doing the right thing, it’s also about increasing audience and maximising revenue – when tourism is inclusive, everybody wins!”
Tourism Tropical North Queensland General Manager Rosie Douglas said accessible tourism was an opportunity for the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region to deliver unique itineraries for tourists with a disability.
“The Accessible Tourism Forum will help the local industry learn how to better service the inclusive tourism market and help visitors access sites including the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and the world’s oldest rainforest,” Rosie said.
The forum will be held at our newly opened Healthy Living Centre near the Cairns Esplanade.