Three Outback Queensland tourism operators – Cobbold Village, Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo and Outback Pioneers – have won gold awards at this year’s Queensland Tourism Awards.
Presented in Brisbane on Friday night, they were among six accolades taken out by outback attractions that make up part of the state’s $25 billion tourism industry.
All up, the Outback Queensland region collected three gold, one silver, one bronze and one highly commended award.
Cobbold Village’s gold award was in the hosted accommodation category, while the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo came out on top in the festivals and events section, and Outback Pioneers was top of the pops for cultural tourism.
Proving that the outback does festivals well, Birdsville’s Big Red Bash won the silver award in that category.
Kinnon and Co’s pioneer-style accommodation received a bronze award in the self-contained accommodation section, while Cobbold Gorge was highly commended in the tourist attractions.
A total of 83 awards, including 28 gold, 24 silver, 24 bronze, five highly commended and two individual awards across 28 categories, as well as the inaugural RACQ People’s Choice awards, were presented at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, where 900 guests gathered to celebrate Queensland’s tourism achievements.
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the 33nd Queensland Tourism Awards had attracted more than 160 nominations state-wide.
“This year’s entrants reflect the diverse and dynamic range of tourism operators helping Queensland’s tourism industry flourish,” he said.
“Queensland’s tourism industry continues to do much of the heavy lifting for the state’s economy, this year growing by more than 5.5 per cent and employing more than 225,000 people.
“International visitor numbers for Queensland have seen record grown in the 12 months to June 2017, growing 5.6pc.
“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 industry was growing from strength to strength, thanks to the hard work of operators who deliver fantastic products and experiences.
“Congratulations to all Outback Queensland region nominees and winners for your dedication and showcasing the best of Queensland to visitors.”
Queensland’s Gold Business Award winners will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which will be held in Perth on February 23, 2018.