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Queensland shines at peak national tourism awards

24 February 2018

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones has congratulated the 10 Queensland businesses and events who took home awards from the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Perth on Friday (23 February).


Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers (pictured) once again led the way for Queensland, winning gold in the Major Festivals and Events category for the second year in a row.

Ocean Rafting from the Whitsundays also went back-to-back, winning Gold in the Major Tours and Transport Operators category while the Grand Hotel and Apartments in Townsville won Gold in the Standard Accommodation category.

A total of 25 Queensland businesses were competing at the awards after they all took out Gold in their respective categories at the 2017 Queensland Tourism Awards.

“Once again Queensland tourism has shone on the national stage - proving there’s no better place in Australia for a holiday or to attend an event,” she said.

“The strength of our tourism industry relies on our operators and our product so to see so many Queenslanders recognised on a national stage is testament to the work they do.

“The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has grown into one of Queensland’s biggest events which draws tens of thousands of people to the Garden City every year. There’s no better way to experience the Whitsundays than with Ocean Rafting.

“The Grand Hotel and Apartments in Townsville also deserves congratulations for taking home gold, but every operator nominated on the night did Queensland and our tourism industry proud.”

Ms Jones said it was important tourism operators were strongly supported by the government.

“Queensland’s tourism sector has gone from strength to strength under the Palaszczuk Government with our events portfolio doubling in value to $600 million under Labor,” she said.

“We’re committed to making sure our tourism industry continues to grow. That’s why we’re investing an extra $134 million on tourism in this term of government.”

Australian Tourism Awards chair and Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said the results reinforced Queensland’s reputation as a tourism and events leader.

“It was a fantastic night to be a Queenslander,” he said.

“The Whitsunday tourism industry should stand tall – it’s been a tough road for many operators in the region and their hard work and commitment has not only been inspiring but it is certainly paying off.”

The full list of Queensland winners are below:

Organisation/Entry - Award - Category - Tourism Region
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers - GOLD - Major Festivals and Events - Southern Queensland Country
Ocean Rafting - GOLD - Major Tour and Transport Operators - Whitsundays
Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville - GOLD - Standard Accommodation - Townsville
Mount Isa Mines and Rotary Rodeo - SILVER - Festivals and Events - Outback
Fun Over Fifty - SILVER - Tour and Transport Operators - Brisbane
Cobbold Village - SILVER - Hosted Accommodation - Tropical North Queensland
Cumberland Charter Yachts - SILVER - Unique Accommodation - Whitsundays
Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort - BRONZE - Ecotourism - Southern Great Barrier Reef
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort - BRONZE - Caravan and Holiday Parks - Whitsundays
RACV Noosa Resort - BRONZE - Self-Contained Accommodation - Sunshine Coast