State’s best shine at Queensland Tourism Awards

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.

This year, the awards attracted approximately 160 entries from across the state.

A total of 72 awards, including 24 Gold, 23 Silver, 20 Bronze and 5 individual awards across 28 categories, were presented at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre tonight where 900 guests gathered to celebrate Queensland’s tourism achievements. 

Tourism operators in Tropical North Queensland walked away with 14 awards, while those in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Whitsundays each collected 12 awards.

Individual Queensland Tourism Awards were presented to Nikki Dudley (Young Achievers Award) and the Oatley Family (The Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual or Family).

See list below of all of this year’s 2016 Queensland Tourism Awards winners.

QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the 32nd Queensland Tourism Awards had attracted an outstanding array of tourism operators.

“I applaud the winners of our 28 business, event and individual categories.  These dedicated operators and their staff have shown the true spirit of our vibrant tourism industry,” he said.

“Queensland’s tourism industry has emerged as a powerhouse of the state’s economy, contributing $22.8 billion in local expenditure and employing more than 233,000 Queenslanders, with enormous opportunities ahead for our regions and destinations.

“Tonight’s winners are industry champions with the passion and innovative drive that makes our industry what it is today.  With that kind of commitment our tourism industry will continue to go from strength to strength.” 

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

“The Queensland tourism industry is booming thanks to tourism operators who deliver the products and experiences that keep our visitors coming back for more,” Ms Jones said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to working with the industry to drive growth and create jobs for Queenslanders.

“Congratulations to all of the award winners for their efforts and to the Queensland Tourism Industry Council for their continued investment in and support for the industry.”

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

“Our tourism industry is critical to the state’s ongoing growth and prosperity so it’s important to showcase the best of the best through the Queensland Tourism Awards,” he said.

“This year’s winners highlight the breadth of Queensland’s offering to domestic and international visitors, and tonight we celebrate not only their award wins, but also their contribution to the state’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 Darwin on 24 February 2017.

2016 Queensland Tourism Award Winners

Major Tourist Attractions
Gold - Australian Age of Dinosaurs
Silver - Australia Zoo
Bronze - Mossman Gorge Centre

Tourist Attractions
Gold - Cobbold Gorge Tours
Silver - Capricorn Caves
Bronze - Sarina Sugar Shed

Major Festivals and Events
Gold - Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers
Silver - Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival
Bronze - World Science Festival Brisbane 2016

Festivals and Events
Gold - Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo
Silver - Broadbeach Country Music Festival
Bronze - Noosa Food & Wine Festival

The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism
Gold - Fun Over Fifty
Silver - Tall Ship Adventures
Bronze - Ocean Safari

Cultural Tourism
Gold - Kinnon & Co
Silver - Mossman Gorge Centre

Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism
Gold - Mossman Gorge Centre

Specialised Tourism Services
Gold - Tourism Lounge at Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre Gold Coast
Silver - Fun Over Fifty
Bronze - Small World Journeys

Visitor Information and Services
Gold - Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre
Silver - Wirrarri Visitors Centre, Birdsville
Bronze - Kuranda Visitor Information Centre

Business Event Venues
Silver - Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

Major Tour and/or Transport Operators
Gold - Ocean Rafting
Silver - Cruise Whitsundays
Bronze - Reef Magic Cruises

Tour and/or Transport Operators
Gold - Fun Over Fifty Pty Ltd
Silver - Whitsunday Jetski Tours
Bronze - Outback Aussie Tours

Adventure Tourism
Gold - Tangatours
Silver - Reef Magic Cruises
Bronze - Whitsunday Jetski Tours

Destination Marketing
Gold - Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism
Silver - Tourism Noosa
Bronze - Southern Great Barrier Reef

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services
Gold - Ochre Restaurant & Catering
Bronze - O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards

Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries
Gold - Sarina Sugar Shed
Silver - O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards

Caravan and Holiday Parks
Gold - BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort
Silver - NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park
Bronze - Killarney View Cabins and Caravan park

Hosted Accommodation
Gold - Cobbold Village
Silver - Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat
Bronze - Adels Grove Camping Park

Unique Accommodation
Gold - Cruise Whitsundays - Reefsleep
Silver - Whitsunday Escape Bareboat Holidays
Bronze - Cumberland Charter Yachts

Self-Contained Accommodation
Gold - Pinnacles Resort
Silver - O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat

Standard Accommodation
Gold - Ibis Mackay
Silver - Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville
Bronze - Cape Trib Beach House

Deluxe Accommodation
Gold - NEXT Hotel Brisbane
Silver - Empire Apartment Hotel Rockhampton
Bronze - Mirage Whitsundays

Luxury Accommodation
Gold - RACV Royal Pines Resort
Silver - Spicers Peak Lodge
Bronze - Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort & Spa

New Tourism Business
Silver - iFLY Gold Coast
Bronze - ibis Styles Brisbane Elizabeth Street

Excellence in Food Tourism
Gold - Sarina Sugar Shed

Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group
Gold - Moreton Bay Region - Tourism and Events Volunteers
Silver - Brisbane Greeters
Bronze - Townsville Enterprise Welcome Program Volunteers

Young Achievers Award
Gold - Nikki Dudley of Nikki Dudley Freelancing

The Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
Gold - Oatley Family

For more information, please visit

Media contacts:

Carrie Anderson, BBS Communications, 07 3221 6711 /

Daniel Gschwind, QTIC Chief Executive, 0419 219 795 /