Cassidy Hospitality Group team Tony Cullen, Alyssa Tate and Rebecca and Grant Cassidy.
Cassidy Hospitality Group team Tony Cullen, Alyssa Tate and Rebecca and Grant Cassidy.

Southern Great Barrier Reef businesses in national competition

FOUR gold class businesses are set to represent Queensland and the Capricornia region in the upcoming Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra on March 6.

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, The Windmill Café Bargara, Bundaberg Rum Distillery Visitor Experience and Empire Apartment Hotel Rockhampton all won Gold at the 35th annual Queensland Tourism Awards in November last year and are hoping to do so again at the Australian tourism night of nights.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive, Daniel Gschwind said these businesses played a huge role in the continuous growth and smooth running of Queensland tourism.

“Businesses such as these exemplify the extraordinary dedication and innovation of tourism operators across the State- all of whom are helping the Queensland tourism industry thrive.”

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said both the Australian Tourism Awards and the QTA were not just about winning, but about improving business overall.

“Applying for these awards is a large task but doing so assists businesses in reviewing their processes and procedures and acts as a positive lever in promotion,” she said.

Empire Apartment Hotel Rockhampton managing director Grant Cassidy admitted the awards process could seem slightly daunting for small businesses but was adamant that the experience was ultimately a valuable “money can’t buy opportunity”.

“It really does confront you to challenge every aspect of the business and we found it does lead to enhanced business practices and learnings on best practice,” Mr Cassidy said.

“If nothing else, just have a go but don’t put too much pressure on yourself and start getting ready early so you can have the appropriate time to do a quality submission.”

Bundaberg Rum Distillery Visitor Experience marketing manager Duncan Littler said if you were looking to take your tourism business to the next level, entering these awards was an excellent way to do it.

“We have found entering QTA incredibly valuable as it has helped us to not only identify areas of focus to better the experience, but also attract new visitors,” he said.



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