Local operators shine at Queensland Tourism Awards
THIS region's Southern Great Barrier Reef tourism operators have had a standout night at the Queensland Tourism Awards collecting a swag of accolades, including Capricorn Caves award for Best Tourist Attraction.
The annual awards, held at The Star on the Gold Coast, celebrate individuals and tourism operators of the state's $25 billion tourism industry with 87 awards across 28 categories.
The Southern Great Barrier Reef region, incorporating Rockhampton, the Capricorn Coast, Gladstone and Bundaberg, collected four gold, three silver and three bronze awards.
Empire Apartment Hotel won Gold in the Deluxe Accommodation category and Silver for Business Event Venues.
Beef Australia 2018 won Bronze for Major Festivals and Events.
Queensland's tourism industry contributes $25 billion or 7.8 per cent of the state's gross product and employs 217,000 people.
QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind said international visitor numbers had seen record growth in the 12 months to June 2018, increasing 5.5 per cent.
Some 2.7 million international visitors generated $5.7 billion in overnight expenditure.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones congratulated all winners and nominees for the work they had done to develop the diverse range of tourism offerings in the last 12 months.
"We're committed to growing this sector and backing tourism operators to create jobs in Queensland," Ms Jones said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk paid tribute to the winners.
She said under her government the industry had grown by about $2 billion and the talent recognised before 900 people at the awards was testament to the fact that Queensland tourism was booming.
at the Queensland Tourism Awards at The Star on the Gold Coast.
More than 900 guests attended to celebrate and recognise the outstanding achievements of operators throughout the state, with a total of 87 awards presented. This included 26 gold, 26 silver, 26 bronze, seven highly commended and two individual awards across 28 categories.
"We know Queensland has a diverse range of world-class experiences you can't find anywhere else," the Premier said.
"The Queensland Tourism Awards allow us to take a moment to reflect on the past year and celebrate the exceptional work of operators.
"Tourism operators are the backbone of Queensland's $25 billion tourism industry, which supports more than 215,000 jobs.
"Congratulations to this year's winners for their commitment to striving for excellence and showcasing the best address on earth.
"We're committed to growing this sector and backing tourism operators to create jobs in Queensland."
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones thanked the Queensland Tourism Industry Council for hosting the annual event.
"Under the Palaszczuk Government, Queensland's tourism sector has grown by around $2 billion," she said.
"We're investing more than any other government in Queensland's history to partner with operators to grow this sector.
"The talent that we celebrated tonight is a testament to the fact that Queensland tourism is booming."
SOUTHERN GREAT BARRIER REEF WINNERS
Empire Apartment Hotel Rockhampton - Deluxe Accommodation
Capricorn Caves - Tourist Attractions
Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience - Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries
Mon Repos Turtle Volunteers - Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group
Empire Conference Centre Rockhampton - Business Event Venues
Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience - Tourist Attractions
Bundy Food Tours - Excellence in Food Tourism
Beef Australia 2018 - Major Festivals and Events
Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort - The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism
Kellys Beach Resort - Standard Accommodation