Iconic Outback Queensland event, Birdsville Races, and tourism operator Adels Grove Camping Park have come out on top with Gold accolades at this year’s annual Queensland Tourism Awards as the region’s tourism operators and individuals celebrate the industry’s many achievements.
Hosted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) and presented by Queensland Airports Limited in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland, the Outback Queensland region was awarded two Gold, one Silver and two Bronze awards.
Birdsville Races won Gold for the Festivals and Events category and Adels Grove Camping Park won Gold for the Hosted Accommodation category. Other Outback winners included Kinnon & Co. Outback Lodges (Bronze – Self Contained Accommodation), Qantas Founders Museum’s McGiness’ Restaurant (Bronze – Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services) and Qantas Founders Museum (Silver – Major Tourist Attractions).
A total of 81 awards including 27 Gold, 25 Silver, 22 Bronze and two individual awards across 30 categories were presented at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre tonight where 900 guests gathered to celebrate Queensland’s tourism achievements.
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind congratulated Outback Queensland’s winners and said the awards provided the opportunity to pay homage to the hardworking, dedicated individuals and organisations who have helped shape and transform the industry.
“Since 1985, the Queensland Tourism Awards have highlighted the important role tourism plays in driving Queensland’s economic and community development and recognise the businesses and individuals who continuously raise the standard of their tourism services and experiences,” Mr Gschwind said.
“Tourism is in a growth phase with great opportunities to invest in Queensland’s destinations and services.
“Today, the industry employs more than 241,000 Queenslanders and is the second largest export earner for the state thanks to the successful and innovative businesses who have been recognised here tonight.”
A total of 156 nominations were received from entrants throughout Queensland with 12 nominations received from the Outback Queensland region.
Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones said the Queensland Tourism Awards recognised the people who help make Queensland tourism great.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to working with each and every one of our tourism operators to deliver an exceptional destination experience for visitors and we will do everything we can to grow tourism in our state, grow the economy and grow jobs,” Ms Jones said.
“I commend all of the award winners as well as the Queensland Tourism Industry Council for their dedication to investing in the future of the industry, to embracing quality and innovation so that they can excel and grow.”
Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) CEO Chris Mills said the annual Queensland Tourism Awards provides the perfect opportunity for the industry to come together and celebrate collective success.
“The Queensland Tourism Awards have successfully recognised excellence in tourism and celebrated our industry’s impressive growth over the past 31 years,” Mr Mills said.
“QAL has enjoyed a nine year association with the event as the presenting partner, and we continue to be inspired by the vast array of tourism businesses throughout the state. We congratulate tonight’s winners and entrants on their outstanding contributions to the Queensland tourism industry.”
Individual Queensland Tourism Awards were presented to Bindi Irwin from Australia Zoo (Young Achievers Award) and Stephen Gregg, former Chair of Tourism and Events Queensland and QTIC (The Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual).
Hall of Fame inductees include Brisbane’s Ipswich Visitor Information Centre (Visitor Information Services), North Queensland’s Cairns Convention Centre (Business Event Venues), Cairns Central YHA (Backpacker Accommodation), Sunshine Coast’s Noosa Boathouse (Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services) and RACV Noosa Resort (Deluxe Accommodation); having all won Gold in their selected categories for three consecutive years.
The Queensland Tourism Awards are judged by a panel of industry experts who volunteer their time to assess written submissions and travel throughout Queensland to experience the amenities and services of nominated businesses.
Gold winners from business categories in the 2015 Queensland Tourism Awards will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Melbourne on 5 April 2016.
Queensland was well represented at the 2014 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, winning 16 national industry accolades including five Gold Awards.