Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities

The Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities (CTRO) is an entity jointly run between the School of Business and Law and the Office of Indigenous Engagement. The Centre is administered from CQUniversity’s Cairns campus.

The focus of this applied and multidisciplinary research centre is on the intersection between tourism, resource activity, and regional development. Research is organised into five thematic areas:

  • tourism development
  • indigenous development and cultural capital
  • regional communities and growth
  • natural assets and environment
  • services industry innovation and work.

Find out more about our staff.

The Centre generates new information and understanding about:

  • tourism development
  • indigenous development and cultural capital      
  • the need to protect natural resources from development pressures
  • the importance of human capital and entrepreneurial thinking in regional communities business and industries
  • respecting and supporting Indigenous populations in regional Australia.

Current Projects

Our research projects include:

Tourism development

  • Cairns Region Visitor Survey
  • Cairns tourism industry research needs analysis
  • using humour in tourism
  • the possible impact of megaresorts on local communities
  • history and tourism development in Cairns
  • Indigenous tourism supply-side study
  • climate change impact the Great Barrier Reef
  • Darwin’s World War 11 heritage as a tourist attraction
  • tourism in agricultural regions (authored book)
  • coral reef tourism, opportunities and threats
  • modelling tourism development in remote regional towns
  • Indigenous development and cultural capital
  • Chinese high-speed rail’s impact on tourism flows
  • factors affecting bilateral tourism between China and Japan
  • developing nature based tourism in Hong Kong
  • tourism in remote towns: A Cooktown case stu

Indigenous engagement

  • understanding the experiences of Indigenous Australian and Maori artists and the future of Indigenous cultures
  • engaging Indigenous researchers from a diverse range of Indigenous backgrounds in a collaborative health and wellbeing project
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth, Health and Wellbeing Project
  • ‘From experience to practice’: 20 years after the Indigenous community development study tours to India
  • Waminda Women’s Aboriginal Women’s Organisation ‘Dead or Deadly Program’ Report: Gendered Indigenous Health and Wellbeing
  • Indigenous tourism supply-side study
  • educational and employment outcomes of youth with disabilities project

Regional communities and growth

  • transferring land back to agriculture after mine closure
  • assessing factors that impact on connectiveness and regional mobility in regional areas
  • assessing the economic impact of the proposed Emu Park Near Shore Revitalisation

Natural assets and environment

  • transferring land back to agriculture after mine closure
  • assessing factors that impact on connectiveness and regional mobility in regional areas
  • assessing the economic impact of the proposed Emu Park Near Shore Revitalisation
  • developing regional innovation systems as a platform for growth and sustainability
  • accessibility and coordination in peri-urban transport systems
  • regional householder’s behaviours and willingness to pay for organic waste management
  • assessing the cost-effectiveness of grant and funding programs for water quality improvements
  • designing conservation /water quality tenders when there is uncertainty in the bidding and assessment processes
  • assessing the effectiveness of engagement in the context of the Great Barrier Reef
  • predicting cost functions to improve water quality

Services industry innovation and work

  • pay equity in public services
  • Australian Indigenous Tourism Business: Success: cases for hybridity
  • a function of family – A case study of an Indigenous Australian Tourism Enterprise
  • bucket tourism: makes yours a destination of choice
  • psychological contract breach among temporary employees
  • strategic project management for product innovation
  • the role of quality systems in service innovation
  • the business of law
  • the role of local area marketing in SME business development
  • the role of peripheral destinations in regional economic development
  • the role of knowledge management in essential services performance: a case for aged
  • small business –big improvements: service innovation

The Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities undertakes applied research, with a particular focus on collaborative partnerships with industry and community stakeholders.

CTRO partners include:

  • National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN)
  • Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO)
  • Reef and Rainforest Research Centre
  • Northern Institute of Charles Darwin University
  • Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland Torres Strait
  • The National Healing Foundation
  • Department of Family and Community Services (New South Wales)
  • Fitzroy Basin Association
  • Office for Learning and Teaching
  • Australian Coal Association Research Program
  • Livingstone Shire Council
  • ARC Discovery
  • Commonwealth Government NESP program
  • Reef Trust
  • The Office of the Great Barrier Reef
Achieving Secure and Stable Migrant Employment: A Study of Agriculture, Manufacturing and Food Processing in Regional Queensland

Regional Australia is a major contributor to Australia’s economy, producing approximately two-thirds of the nation’s export earnings (RAI, 2015a). Currently, skill shortages exist in some regional Australian industries such as agriculture, manufacturing and food/meat processing. In the past decade, the Australian government has encouraged permanent and temporary migrants to settle and work in regional Australia. Lobbying by employers and industry bodies to simplify the process for employing temporary migrants has occurred against a background of significant unemployment among permanent migrants. There is also a common view among employers, industry peak bodies, government departments and other key stakeholders interviewed that there are significant social and economic benefits of having permanent migrants in regional industries. Despite this, we identified certain barriers to migrants settling and working in regional areas. Based on the findings, recommendations are made in regard to the following areas: promoting regional communities; enhancing stakeholder communication; providing government incentives for employers and for migrants in the regional areas; employment; skills recognition; training and upskilling of permanent migrants; direct settlement of migrants in regional areas; infrastructure development; community capacity building in regional areas, and reinvigorating effective practices for alleviating skill shortages in agribusiness in regional Queensland.

This pilot report from the Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities (CTRO) in the School of Business and Law at CQUniversity was launched in December 2018 by Minister for Multicultural Affairs Stirling Hinchliffe at CQUni’s Brisbane Campus.

Contact Details

Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities

CQUniversity Cairns
Corner Abbott and Shields Streets
Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia

Bruce Prideax (Professor - Tourism, School of Business and Law)


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