Bundaberg Region Shines at Queensland Tourism Awards

Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry recognised its most outstanding, dedicated and successful operators at Friday nights 2017 Queensland Tourism Awards, where Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef took out several accolades...

Bundaberg Region Shines at Queensland Tourism Awards
Bundaberg Region Shines at Queensland Tourism Awards

Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry recognised its most outstanding, dedicated and successful operators at Friday nights 2017 Queensland Tourism Awards, where Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef took out several accolades.

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

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

“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 Cycle 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 more than 5.5% and employing more than 225,000 people.”

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 annual 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.

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, set the benchmark for ecotourism around the state taking out the prestigious Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism, recognising ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.

Managing Director and Island custodian, Peter Gash, accepted the award and later commented on Facebook, “we are so very honored to be awarded the Steve Irwin Ecotourism Award.. but it would never have happened without all of the amazing support from so many wonderful people both within our crew and from all around Queensland.. we are humbled by this experience and say thanks to everyone for believing in us and supporting our cause”

The awards just kept coming for Bundaberg region operators, with the family operated Kellys Beach Resort receiving a Silver Award in the Standard Accommodation category.

Loni Hammond the Business Director of Kellys Beach Resort, who attended the gala event, stated “we are so humbled to be recognized for the passion we put behind Kellys. A huge thank you to our loyal and committed staff and to the support we receive from BNBT, QTIC and TEQ, it was great to celebrate our success alongside our fellow Southern Great Barrier Reef colleagues and the best of the Queensland tourism industry!”

Bundaberg Rum Distillery received a Bronze Award in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category.

Bundaberg Distilling Co. Senior Brand Manager Duncan Littler said, "With each award win, we are more humbled that our Queensland icon continues to delight visitors from both near and afar. Everyone here at the distillery works hard to create a unique experience for each and every guest so they’ll remember their experience for years to come. It’s rewarding to be recognised amongst such esteemed peers, particularly in our home state.”

Also receiving recognition with a Bronze award in the Cultural Tourism category, was Bundaberg’s own, Hinkler Hall of Aviation.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said for the Hinkler Hall of Aviation to receive this recognition was just reward for the commitment Bundaberg Region Council, its staff and community had made in preserving the memory and deeds of a genuine Australian hero.

“The Hinkler Hall of Aviation is an iconic Bundaberg Region attraction that continues to expand with the legend of our home town hero Bert Hinkler. This award raises the profile of the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and the beautiful Bundaberg Region and I am sure inspires and delights our community.”

Katherine Reid, General Manager of Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism said “through sheer hard work, passion and collaboration, Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef will keep going from strength to strength. We have an extraordinary group of tourism businesses across the region and it was wonderful to have some of our great experiences recognised in the highly competitive state awards. If we continue to work together, focused on supporting each other and delivering extraordinary visitor experiences, the tourism industry across the Bundaberg North Burnett will continue to grow, numbers will remain strong, injecting dollars into our local economy and our community will prosper.”

During the week, Suzie Clarke of Bundy Food Tours, was also recognised as a tourism leader, being invited as a guest speaker at the Queensland tourism industry’s DestinationQ event. Now in its 6th year, DestinationQ is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the tourism industry. The theme of the 2017 forum on the 9th November was Competitiveness from Collaboration in the tourism sector and featured international keynote speakers, as well as industry presentations by tourism businesses who represent best practice and that are working closely with their destination to support a common vision.