LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch says Far North Queensland is being seen as the tourism torchbearer after the region received eight gold, eight silver and five bronze gongs at the Queensland Tourism Awards on Friday.
Mr Entsch, who attended the awards in Brisbane, said that twenty-one of the thirty-nine nominations put forward from the region received awards.
“It’s a testament to the standard of our tourism products that Far North Queensland businesses are seen as setting the benchmark for quality and being publicly recognised and rewarded for it,” said Mr Entsch.
“In particular, these awards highlight how the Mossman and Daintree region has really come-of-age in a spectacular way, and is becoming just as attractive to tourists as more established regions such as the Whitsundays, Noosa and Brisbane.”
The local winners included:
- Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort, Gold Award, Tourist and Caravan Parks
- Cairns Central YHA, Gold Award, Backpacker Accommodation
- Mossman Gorge Centre, Gold Award, Indigenous Tourism
- Kuranda Scenic Railway, Gold Award, Specialised Tourism Services
- Cairns Convention Centre, Gold Award, Business Tourism
- Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours, Gold Award, Adventure Tourism
- Passions of Paradise, Gold Award, Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism
- Cairns Regional Council, Gold Award, Local Government Award for Tourism
- UMI Arts, Silver Award, Indigenous Tourism
- Gateway Media Group, Silver Award, Specialised Tourism Services
- Quicksilver Group, Silver Award, Major Tour and/or Transport Operators
- Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours, Silver Award, Tourist Attractions
- Mike Ball Dive Expeditions, Silver Award, Adventure Tourism
- Mt Quincan Crater Retreat, Silver Award, Hosted Accommodation
- Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, Silver Award, Luxury Accommodation
- Mission Beach Visitor Information Centre Volunteers, Silver Award, Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group
- Cairns Amateurs, Bronze Award, Festivals and Events
- Billy Tea Safaris, Bronze Award, Tour and/or Transport Operators
- Ochre Restaurant & Catering, Bronze Award, Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services
- Sailaway Reef & Island Tours Sailaway V, Bronze Award, New Tourism Development
- Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Bronze Award, Major Tourist Attractions
“Far North Queensland operators picked up awards in a whole range of categories, from major attractions to restaurant and catering, ecotourism, business travel to luxury and backpacker accommodation…we really punch well above our weight across the whole spectrum,” said Mr Entsch.
“It really shows that tourism is such a key economic driver, and impacts right across all aspects of our region.”
Mr Entsch said the awards came on the back of the Tropical North Queensland Tourism Awards on Friday 21 November, which saw 30 awards presented to local tourism operators for their exceptional product and service delivery.
“The Far North is blessed with a perfect combination of natural wonders and innovative business men and women,” said Mr Entsch.
“I congratulate every local company that was recognised at these two award presentations, and encourage every tourism business in the region whether they were nominated or not to continue to make Far North Queensland into one of Australia’s best tourism destinations.”