State’s best receive acclaim at Queensland Tourism Awards

Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry has recognised its most outstanding, dedicated and successful operators and individuals at tonight’s 2017 Queensland Tourism Awards.


Tourism excellence was celebrated in all regions across the state, with the Whitsunday’s in particular celebrating a highly successful night with 14 accolades – an impressive achievement following the challenges and heartbreak many operators faced as result of Cyclone Debbie earlier in the year.

This year’s awards attracted more than 160 nominations from across the state.

A total of 83 awards, including 27 Gold, 23 Silver, 24 Bronze. 5 highly commended and 4 individual awards across 28 categories, as well as the inaugural RACQ People’s Choice awards, were presented at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre tonight, in front of 900 guests.

Tourism operators in the Brisbane and Tropical North Queensland regions each walked away with 15 awards, while those in the Whitsundays closely followed with 14. The Sunshine Coast and Southern Great Barrier Reef each collected 7 awards and the Outback and Gold Coast regions each celebrated 6 awards. Five Mackay tourism operators were recognised along with 4 Townsville experiences, 3 Southern Queensland Country operators and 1 Fraser Coast business.

North Queensland tourism veteran, Wendy Morris, was awarded the The Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual and young entrepreneurs Giovanna and Paul Shakhovskoy took out the highly-acclaimed Young Achiever’s Award.  

For the first time in the Awards’ 11-year history, Queenslanders were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite tourism experience as part of the RACQ People’s Choice Award. Sunshine Coast’s RACV Noosa Resort took out the People’s Choice Award for Accommodation, while Tropical North Queensland’s Paronella Park stole Queenslanders’ hearts in the Experiences and Services category. 

See separate list below of all of this year’s 2017 Queensland Tourism Awards winners.

QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the 33rd Queensland Tourism Awards had attracted an outstanding array of tourism operators across all award categories.

“I congratulate the winners of the 28 business, event and individual categories, as well as winners of the inaugural RACQ People’s Choice category – RACV Noosa Resort and Paronella Park in Cairns.

“All operators and individuals have demonstrated excellence in Queensland’s thriving tourism industry.

“The industry has continued to grow in the past financial year, even in the face of Cyclone Debbie and its aftermath.

“In the past year, the Queensland tourism industry continued to do much of the heavy lifting for the state’s economy, this year growing by more than 5.5% and employing more than 225,000 people.

“International visitor numbers for Queensland saw record growth in the 12 months to June 2017, growing 5.6% per cent. Some 2.6 million international visitors generated $5.2 billion in overnight expenditure.

 “While these numbers are certainly positive, the industry faces intense global competition for market share. Queensland must continue to excel in every business to capture the attention of first-time and returning visitors from Australia and around the world.”

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the Queensland Tourism Awards recognised excellence in the tourism industry.

“The Queensland tourism industry is growing from strength to strength thanks to the hard work of our tourism operators who deliver fantastic products and experiences.

“The Palaszczuk Government will continue working with tourism operators to grow the industry and deliver jobs for Queenslanders.

“Congratulations to all nominees and winners for your dedication and showcasing the best of Queensland to visitors.”

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said the annual Queensland Tourism Awards provided the perfect platform to recognise the industry’s leading operators.

“Our tourism industry is critical to the state’s ongoing growth and prosperity, and the Queensland Tourism Awards winners are the best of the best,” he said.

“We are proud of our 11 year association as presenting partner of the Queensland Tourism Awards, which highlight the contribution Queensland businesses and individuals have made to domestic and international visitors.”

The Queensland Tourism Awards is hosted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council and presented by Queensland Airports Limited in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and supporting partner Tourism Australia.

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 Perth on 23 February 2018.