Written on the 7 November 2011


BRISBANE’S tourism companies have shown some muscle by taking nine awards and 12 finalist places, including the Young Achievers Award at the 2011 Queensland Tourism Awards in Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the annual awards recognise the resilience of local tourism operators.

"In true Queensland style, they have dug deep and continued to deliver our visitors a shining holiday experience,” says Bligh.

“They lead the pack through innovation, stand-out business practices and exceptional service, product and experiences."

The Workshops Rail Museum is tooting after winning in the tourist attractions category. The North Ipswich-based railway history hub overtook Caboolture Historical Village, Ghost Tours and Redland Art Gallery.

In a double gong for Ipswich, the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre won in the visitor information and services category.

Recognition continued for tour operators with Fun Over Fifty winning the tour and/or transport operators category.

Australian Tourism Data Warehouse’s tourism e-kit won in the tourism education and training category, while Ocean View Estates Winery & Restaurant received the tourism wineries, distilleries, boutique breweries gong.

Brisbane City YHA dazzled in the backpacker accommodation category, while at the higher end of town Spicers Balfour Hotel also impressed judges to claim the new tourism development gong.

The Young Achievers Award went to Matthew Simpson of Spicers Retreats, Hotels & Lodges, while Judges Commendation was given to Oaks Mon Komo (new tourism development)

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind commended all of the winners.

“Congratulations to all the winners, finalists and judges commendations,” says Gschwind.

“Tonight’s winners should be proud of the resilience they have shown, refining their businesses and creating new ways to attract visitors to the Sunshine State.”

Volunteers were also recognised, with Capricorn Coast Visitor Information Centre volunteers Trevor Belz and Beverley Gilligan winning the Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group Award.

The pair collectively volunteered for 42 years as ambassadors for the Capricorn Coast Visitor Information Centre in Yeppoon, giving up more than 20,000 for the benefit of the Capricorn Coast and Great Barrier Reef regions.

Capricorn Enterprise chief executive Mary Carroll says the pair’s dedication and passion for their local area pays a tribute to all 100 volunteers.

“Nominating them for this award was the least we could do to say thank you,” says Carroll.

The Queensland Tourism Awards have run since 1984 and are judged by a panel of senior tourism industry professionals.

Finalists include:

  • Abbey Medieval Festival (festivals and events)
  • Redlands IndigiScapes Centre (Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism)
  • Sofitel Brisbane Central (meetings and business tourism)
  • Big Red Cat (major tour and/or transport operators)
  • Scenic Rim Destination Marketing (the Richard Power Award for Tourism Marketing)
  • Royal on the Park – The Walnut Restaurant & Lounge Bar (tourism restaurants and catering services)
  • Witches Falls Cottages (hosted accommodation)
  • Royal on the Park Brisbane (deluxe accommodation)
  • Sofitel Brisbane Central (luxury accommodation)





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