Efforts to revitalise Northern Australia’s tourism will be focused on Cairns

Published:06 August 2015

Professor Bruce Prideaux

CQUniversity is assembling  a crack team of researchers for a new flagship research centre based in Cairns, with a vision to revitalise Northern Australian tourism and regional growth.

Leading tourism expert Professor Bruce Prideaux and his research team will lead the new Centre for Tourism & Regional Growth (C-TARG) from headquarters at CQUni’s new campus in the Cairns CBD.

Professor Prideaux, a recent recruit to CQUni, will draw on leading CQUniversity researchers specialising in resource economics, Indigenous engagement and regional development.

“We’ll also have the power of place with our extraordinary campus footprint across tropical and regional Australia,” Professor Prideaux says.

“The focus of this applied and multidisciplinary research centre will be the intersection between resource activity (namely tourism, mining, agriculture) and regional development. 

“C-TARG will take a quadruple bottom line perspective across economic, social, environmental and cultural assets.”

As well as the revitalisation of Northern Australian tourism, the new centre will focus on regional/northern communities, business and industry; management of natural resources; and cultural capital.

CQUniversity Associate Vice-Chancellor (Cairns and Far North region) Jodie Duignan-George said “'we want to ensure that our Cairns campus brings significant benefit to our local region and this Research Centre will allow greater expression of that commitment”. 

Professor Prideaux says C-TARG will evaluate the institutional structures, infrastructure, workforce training and entrepreneurial developments required to advance the regional industries, business and communities of tropical and regional Australia.

"We will be driven by stakeholder linkages which will underpin the economic and reputational growth of the Centre,” he says.

Professor Prideaux said that, as well as building long-term research capacity, the Centre’s anticipated outcomes could include enhancing the capacity of the Northern region to offer economically and environmentally  sustainable tourism experiences based on the region’s tropical environment, along with supporting the growth of tourism-related employment for a range of communities, including Indigenous communities.