6th December 2017
Despite weathering damaging winds and significant flooding as a result of Cyclone Debbie earlier this year, the Whitsundays have taken the Queensland Tourism Awards by storm. Just seven months after the tropical cyclone ravages the Whitsundays leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, Whitsundays tourism operators have been recognised for their resilience with a swag of awards at an industry gala held at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Out of over 160 nominations, tourism operators based in the Whitsundays took out a total of 14 out of a possible 83 awards, narrowly missing out on being the top region on the night by just a single award. Tropical North Queensland and Brisbane just managed to be the biggest winners, with both regions receiving 15 awards.
Standout winners for the Whitsundays was the Coral Sea Marina at Airlie Beach which beat a number of high-profile rivals to claim the title of Queensland’s best major tourist attraction. Other big winners from the Whitsundays were Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort receiving the Steve Irwin award for eco-tourism and the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort who for the third consecutive year took out best caravan or holiday park, earning them a spot in the Queensland Tourism hall of fame.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said that tourism operators in the Whitsundays had faced enormous challenges and that these well-deserved awards were a wonderful reward for their hard work and resilience.
“The Queensland tourism industry is tough, it’s resilient and that has been wonderfully demonstrated in the Whitsundays. For an industry so battered and so bruised, to rebuild in the way they have is really a great testament to them” he said
Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said that recovery funding from both the state and federal governments had helped to give tourism a boost in the Whitsundays following the effects of the tropical cyclone.
“To have so many winners from the Whitsundays is a testament to the resilience of the region’s tourism industry. Cyclone Debbie ravaged the Whitsunday Islands so it’s great to see tourism operators bouncing back” she said.