Tourism operators from all corners of the outback were recognised during Outback Queensland Tourism’s night of nights at Roma on Saturday.
Conducted in true show-stopping style under the stars on the Roma Airport runway, operators were recognised for their contribution to the tourism industry across 15 categories and two separate awards.
Qantas Founders Museum took out top honours, being awarded the Major Tourist Attraction which recognises natural or built tourist attractions that attract amongst the highest visitor numbers during the qualifying period (July 2017 – June 2018) for Outback Queensland.
Qantas Founders Museum executive assistant to the CEO, Nicole Kuttner, said the museum was delighted to win the award.
“We have a great team at Qantas Founders Museum who work incredibly hard to create memorable tourism experiences for our visitors and it is wonderful to receive this recognition in front of our fellow Outback Queensland Tourism operators,” Mrs Kuttner said.
“We would like to thank all those who have supported us over the year including our sponsors and stakeholders, museum members, the community; Local, State and Federal Governments and of course the thousands of guests who visit us.”
Longreach tourism businesses Outback Aussie Tours and Outback Pioneers were also successful at the Outback Queensland Tourism Awards with Outback Pioneers winning the Cultural Tourism category and Outback Aussie Tourism winning the Tour and Transport Operators category.
Quilpe Shire Council were stoked to take home the Local Government Award.
Cobbold Gorge received two awards for their excellence as a tourist attraction and hosted accommodation.
Meanwhile winning-streaks formed with three operators taking home awards in the same category two years running, with the Goldfield Hotel picking up the Best Outback Pub, Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre receiving the Visitor Information and Services award, and Outback Aussie Tours taking home the Tour and Transport operator award.
General manager of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association, Peter Homan, said he was pleased to see the members of the Outback Queensland tourism industry come together to support each other’s hard work and success.
“It was fantastic to see over 170 people travel to Roma to celebrate the industry over the three days of the 2018 Outback Queensland Tourism Awards and Symposium,” he said.
“The outback tourism industry is constantly growing and it’s important to recognise those who are positively contributing to the industry day in and day out during the year.”
Maranoa Regional Councillor Puddy Chandler, Portfolio Chair for Tourism said the region was excited to host this year’s Outback Queensland Awards and Symposium in Roma.
“The Maranoa region was extremely proud to host so many members of the tourism industry in Roma,” he said.
“As part of Outback Queensland, we were honoured to host this year’s event and show everyone what the south-west has to offer.”
Despite not taking out top spot in the Festivals and Events category (awarded to Big Red Bash), the Mt Isa Rodeo was also given a special commendation.
Kronosaurus Korner volunteer Becky Kuhl received the Young Achiever award, while the managing director of the Big Red Bash, Greg Donovan, picked up the Outback Mates Award.
The Vince Evert Award was given to Rod Low Mow, owner and operator of Adels Grove. Known for his favourite saying, ‘welcome to my backyard’, Rod’s passion for showing off Outback Queensland has grown stronger over the years, from being a member of the Savannah Guides to opening Adels Grove.