“Innovation is essential for Queensland’s tourism industry,” said EarthCheck founder and CEO Stewart Moore.
Now in its sixth year, the QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism will include two new awards and recognise small to medium sized Queensland tourism businesses, and businesses that work with the Queensland tourism industry.
Prize for Innovation – Tourism SME operating > 3 years: $30,000 business support package thanks to the Queensland Government
Prize for Innovation Up and Comer – Tourism SME operating < 3 years: Guaranteed entry into the Horizons Travel and Tourism Accelerator Program – no applying or pitching necessary (Ts&Cs apply, including $30,000 seed capital for 10% equity) thanks to Slingshot Accelerator
Industry Collaborator – working with tourism industry and operating > 3 years: $2,800 cash prize and 5 mentoring sessions thanks to Westpac
Mr Moore said winning the 2017 QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism award was both an honour for the EarthCheck team and an enormous benefit to the business.
“To be recognised as an industry leader not only reinforces the importance of keeping pace with innovation and technology in a fast-moving economy, but also the need to consistently strive for continuous improvement,” he said.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism was about encouraging innovation, as well as recognising the dedication of small businesses to develop and introduce innovative products, services or processes.
“It’s great to see the new and innovative ways Queensland tourism operators continue to improve their businesses, their environmental sustainability and their competitiveness,” Mr Gschwind said.
“These product, service or process innovations are key to the ongoing success and growth of those businesses, as well as the tourism industry as a whole.
“This year we’ve added two new categories because we understand that innovation can come from new businesses just as much as it can from established ones. We also understand there are many businesses that are finding new and innovative ways to work with and support tourism operators.”
Capricorn Caves owner/operator, and 2017 QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism joint runner-up (with Australian Age of Dinosaurs), Ann Augusteyn said they entered Prize for Innovation in Tourism as a way to showcase a specific achievement they were proud of.
“We were very excited about the essence of our innovation,” she said. “We created a new fossil experience based on the work Queensland Museum’s palaeontologists were doing.
“It’s a completely new experience for us and our visitors and offers people a sense of discovery.”
Ms Augusteyn said Capricorn Cave’s innovation was just the beginning for the business in 2017.
“We had the new fossil experience and with that we needed to introduce online booking, and our social media really took off – one innovative idea saw us take on other new processes and we’ve subsequently grown exponentially.”
Prize for Innovation in Tourism nominations and submissions close in one week – at 5pm on Friday 31 August 2018. Find out more at www.qtic.com.au/innovation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 3236 1445.
PHOTO: 2017 QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism runner-up Australian Age of the Dinosaurs (represented by David Elliott), winner EarthCheck (represented by Melinda Watt), and runner-up Capricorn Caves (represented by Ann Augusteyn), with Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones, and QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind.