Tourism impacts on an Australian indigenous community: a Djabugay case study
Dyer, P K
Schuler, S B
The Djabugay people live near Cairns, a tourist destination in North Queensland, Australia, on land to which they “belong” and which traditionally “belongs” to them. Their community is an equity partner in the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park that features Djabugay culture. Some community members work as employees in the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. The benefits of tourism identified by this study included revival of Djabugay culture; employment opportunities; working together with other Djabugay community members; increased cross-cultural understanding; and improved material welfare. However, disadvantages such as degradation of Djabugay culture; exploitation of the Djabugay community; minimal tourist/Djabugay interaction; and limited material improvement for the Djabugay were also revealed. Although the Djabugay people experienced various outcomes from participation in the tourist industry, the community did not appear to experience substantial economic or socio-cultural benefits. As such, the legacy of disadvantage from colonialism is not necessarily reversed by this engagement with tourism. Recommendations arising from this study include stricter adherence to terms and conditions of formal agreements by all parties; increased and more effective communication between managers and indigenous personnel and communities; development of detailed strategies for empowerment of indigenous; and consideration of cross-cultural interaction.