The winners of the 2019 Outback Queensland Tourism Awards were announced over the weekend in host town, Winton.
Over 200 tourism representatives gathered in Winton over three days of the 2019 Outback Queensland Tourism Symposium and Awards to celebrate the Year of Outback Tourism.
A total of 15 categories saw awards given to a range of Outback tourism operators, supporters, and government counterparts for their efforts over the past year.
CEO of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association, Denise Brown was pleased to see the Outback Queensland tourism industry come together to celebrate each other’s success.
“The winners of the tourism awards have gone above and beyond to provide outstanding service to the Outback Queensland tourism industry and deserve to be commended for their support.”
“The future attractions underway with the Queensland Government Infrastructure Grants Program, will create healthy and wonderful competition in future award years. We are galvanising our Outback region tremendously” Brown said.
The Australian Age of Dinosaurs picked up two awards in front of a home crowd for Major Tourist Attraction and their eco tourism project.
The McKinlay Shire celebrated a winning streak, with their Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre taking out their third consecutive win in the Visitor Information Services category. Outback Aussie Tours, Cobbold Gorge, Goldfields Hotel in Forsayth and Outback Pioneers were recognised for their continual commitment in providing exceptional visitor experiences and inducted into the Hall of Fame on the night.
Karumba’s new Barramundi Centre was awarded the New Tourism Business winner. Big Red Bash took out the Festival and Events category for the second time in a row, proving that the event has become a true powerhouse in the Queensland event calendar.
The Vince Evert Award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism was given to Blackall identity Stewart Benson. It was Benson’s continued immense pride for his hometown and passion for sharing knowledge with travellers at Blackall’s Ram Park Precinct and Riverside Camping Grounds which awarded him as the 2019 recipient.
Visitors to Outback Queensland were put in the judging seat in 2019, having their say on their Outback Queensland holiday favourites. Saltbush Retreat won Best Outback Stay, Outback Pioneers took home Best Outback Experience and the Wellshot Hotel was awarded Best Outback Pub. The Charleville region won the hearts of visitors in 2019, topping the votes in Best Outback Region.
The 2019 Outback Queensland Tourism Awards Winners:
Vince Evert Award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism: Stewart Benson
Major Tourist Attraction: The Australian Age of Dinosaurs
Tourist Attraction: Cobbold Gorge
Festivals & Events: Big Red Bash
Cultural Tourism: Qantas Founders Museum
Tour & Transport Operator: Elite Aviation Services
Accommodation: Saltbush Retreat
New Tourism Business: Les Wilson Barramundi Centre
Destination Marketing: Flinders Shire Council
Visitor Information and Services: Julia Creek Visitor and Information Centre
Outback Eco Project: The Australian Age of Dinosaurs
Visitor’s Choice Best Outback Queensland Region: Experience Charleville (Murweh Shire Council)
Visitor’s Choice Best Outback Queensland Experience: Outback Pioneers
Visitor’s Choice Best Outback Queensland Stay: Saltbush Retreat
Visitor’s Choice Best Outback Queensland Pub: Wellshot Hotel
Hall of Fame Inductees:
Cultural Tourism: Outback Pioneers
Hosted Accommodation: Cobbold Village
Tour and Transport Operator: Outback Aussie Tours
Best Outback Queensland Pub: Goldfields Hotel