The Sunshine State’s top tourism operators were recognised at this year’s sold out Queensland Tourism Awards, celebrating the dedicated individuals and successful operators of the state’s $25 billion tourism industry.
A total of 87 awards, including 26 gold, 26 silver, 26 bronze, seven highly commended and two individual awards across 28 categories, as well as the RACQ People’s Choice award, were presented at The Star Gold Coast where 900 guests gathered to celebrate Queensland’s tourism achievements.
Tourism operators on the Gold Coast walked away with 17 awards, while those in the Whitsundays and Tropical North Queensland received 13. The Sunshine Coast and Southern Great Barrier Reef each collected 10 awards, Brisbane finished with eight and the Outback region celebrated six awards. Three Mackay tourism operators were recognised along with two Townsville and two Fraser Coast experiences, and one Southern Queensland Country winner.
Mark and Judy Evans were awarded the Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual and young entrepreneurs Hannah Statham, Chris Speilman and Lauryn received Young Achievers awards.
Following the success of last year’s awards, Queenslanders were again given the opportunity to vote for their favourite tourism experience as part of the RACQ People’s Choice Award. RACV Noosa Resort and Paronella Park both proved to be the people’s favourite for the second year running.
See separate list of all of this year’s 2018 Queensland Tourism Awards winners.
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the 34th Queensland Tourism Awards had attracted a high calibre of tourism operators across all award categories, with more than 170 entries received state-wide.
“This year’s entrants across 28 business, event and individual categories reflect the diverse and dynamic range of tourism operators helping Queensland’s tourism industry flourish,” he said.
“Queensland’s tourism industry continues to demonstrate just how invaluable its contribution is to the state’s economy, contributing $25 billion or 7.8 per cent of the state’s gross product, and employing 217,000 people.
“International visitor numbers for Queensland have 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.
“While the industry continues to see growth in visitor numbers and expenditure, Queensland must strive to remain competitive in the global market.”
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the Queensland Tourism Awards recognised the outstanding achievements of operators throughout the state.
“Congratulations to this year’s nominees and winners for your commitment to striving for excellence and showcasing the best address on the planet,” she said.
“Queensland is home to some of the best experiences in the world. These awards celebrate the great work operators have done to develop our diverse range of tourism offerings in the last 12 months.
“Tourism is a cornerstone of our economy, generating $25 billion for Queensland every year. We’re committed to growing this sector and backing tourism operators to create jobs in Queensland.”
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said the Queensland Tourism Awards provided an opportunity to recognise Queensland’s best tourism operators.
“The rich, diverse and high-quality tourism offerings delivered by tourism operators across the state are a key ingredient to delivering domestic and international visitors and keeping them coming back,” Mr Mills said.
“Tonight we celebrate our winners and finalists on their success, and acknowledge their ongoing commitment to Queensland’s tourism industry.”
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.
Queensland’s Gold Award winners will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which will be held in Tasmania on 1 March 2019. Next year the Queensland Tourism Awards will be held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast on 8 November.
The Queensland Tourism Awards were hosted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council and presented by Queensland Airports Limited in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and The Star Entertainment Group, and supporting partner Tourism Australia.
For more information, please visit www.queenslandtourismawards.com.au and follow the latest news and announcements on social media using the Awards hashtag #QTA18.
SAVE THE DATE: 2019 Queensland Tourism Awards will be held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast on Friday 8 November.
Regional media releases and winners list: