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7 January, 2021

COVID's Biggest Victim

COVID-19 has claimed its biggest victim in Far North Queensland, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

By Peter McCullagh

Although financially under pressure before COVID-19, the business was unable to survive with zero international tourists.

Staff were informed today of the decision not to re-open the business. Tjapukai has been a tourism icon for over 30 years, showcasing the rich indigenous heritage of the area and delighting international tourist with a touch of authentic indigenous culture.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said the industry’s

thoughts were with the staff of Tjapukai following news that it would close.

“This will be a really difficult time for the staff both past and present who have made an enormous

contribution to showcasing Indigenous tourism over the past 33 years,” he said.

“The closure of Tjapukai is a great loss to the tourism industry as it is a foundation product that

set the benchmark for Indigenous cultural tourism experiences in Australia.”

TTNQ Chair Ken Chapman said it was a tough decision, but an understandable one with the

uncertainty around international and domestic tourism.

“ThIs demonstrates just how hard it is for businesses that are successful in the international

market to continue trading.

“It also reinforces why tourism businesses need ongoing support to tackle the challenges ahead.”

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