The Fraser Coast's Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort got the silver medal in The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism at the 2013 Queensland tourism awards.
The Fraser Coast's Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort got the silver medal in The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism at the 2013 Queensland tourism awards. Contributed

Regional areas perform well in tourism awards

WHILE tourism operators in Brisbane and the tropical north predictably took out the lion's share of this year's Queensland tourism honours, regional areas proved they could keep up with the big boys too.

The Whitsundays took out nine awards, closely followed by the Sunshine Coast with seven.

Southern Queensland and the Fraser Coast took out three awards each while Outback Queensland secured six awards.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council awards, held in Brisbane on Friday night, recognised the achievements of the state's $22 billion industry across 32 categories.

The Redlands IndigiScapes Centre took out the new Excellence in Food Tourism award, with Maleny Cheese Café claiming Silver, for featuring Queensland produce as a core part of their tourism experience.

The 2013 Hall of Fame inductees, who have won a category three years straight, were Mungalla Aboriginal Tours (Indigenous Tourism), Australian Tourism Data Warehouse - Tourism e-kit (Tourism Education and Training), Ocean View Estates Winery &

Restaurant (Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries) and Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat (Hosted Accommodation).

QTIC chief Daniel Gschwind said a 12% increase in nominations for the 2013 awards was a positive sign for the industry's growth and optimism.

"The Queensland Tourism Awards give businesses and individuals an opportunity to take pride in their contributions to the industry, raise the standard of quality tourism experiences throughout the state and strive for ongoing improvements to achieve our tourism goals," he said.



- Major Tourist Attractions: Dreamworld

- Tourist Attractions/Adventure Tourism: Gold Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours

- Major Festivals and Events: Woodford Folk Festival

- Festivals and Events: Mount Isa Rodeo

- Ecotourism: Daintree Discovery Centre

- Heritage and Cultural Tourism: Kinnon &

Co. Outback

- Indigenous Tourism: Mungalla Aboriginal Tours

- Specialised Tourism Services: Gateway Media Group

- Visitor Information and Services: Ipswich Visitor Information Centre

- Business Tourism: Cairns Convention Centre

- Major Tour and/or Transport Operators: Quicksilver Group

- Tour and/or Transport Operators: Ocean Rafting Whitsundays

- Destination Marketing: Outback Queensland Tourism Association - Outback Queensland Travellers' Guide 2013

- Tourism Education and Training: Australian Tourism Data Warehouse - Tourism e-kit

- Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services: The Boathouse Sunshine Coast

- Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries: Ocean View Estates Winery &


- Tourist and Caravan Parks: Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort

- Backpacker Accommodation: Cairns Central YHA

- Hosted Accommodation: Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat

- Unique Accommodation: Whitsunday Escape

- Standard Accommodation: Emeraldene Inn &


- Deluxe Accommodation: RACV Noosa Resort

- Luxury Accommodation: Emporium Hotel Brisbane

- New Tourism Development: Kinnon and Co. Starlight's Spectacular Sound-and-Light Show

- Sustainable Tourism: Daintree Discovery Centre

- Excellence in Food Tourism: Redlands IndigiScapes Centre

- Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group: Ipswich Visitor Information Centre volunteers

- Young Achievers Award: Megan Kadic - Pullman Brisbane King George Square

- The Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual: John Osborne, Southern Queensland Country