THE nation’s best holiday destinations for 2023 have been announced in Canberra, at the Australian Top Tourism Town Awards, where Airlie Beach was awarded Silver in the Top Small Tourism Town category!
Presented by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC), the annual awards program recognises and celebrates Australia’s best holiday destinations and honours communities across the country who demonstrate a commitment to visitor excellence.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Rick Hamilton said that being awarded silver confirmed Airlie Beach was a world-class destination loved by Australians – the perfect ‘overseas’ destination, right on our doorstep!
“The Whitsundays is the most tourism-reliant region in Queensland with one in three jobs directly related to tourism,” he said.
“Winning silver in the Small Tourism Town category in the Australian Top Tourism Town Awards shows that Airlie Beach punches well above its weight.
“Being recognised at a state level was a massive achievement for the region and our tourism operators. Being honoured at a national level as the runner-up Top Small Tourism Town in Australia is outstanding.”
The awards are an opportunity for state finalists to showcase their local towns to a panel of judges and have their town promoted on a national stage.
Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs), Local Tourism Organisations (LTOs) and councils, in conjunction with accredited Visitor Information Centres (VICs), submitted a state awards submission, in early 2023, with results announced in June.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor, Julie Hall said the award was excellent news for Airlie Beach and the broader Whitsunday region.
“Tourism is one of the three key pillars for our regional economy, and being awarded silver in the national awards is just a reward for the resilience and passion of our tourist operators and the leadership shown by Tourism Whitsundays (TW),” she said.
“Council is proud to be the major funding supporter for TW and looks forward to partnering with them to continue promoting our Whitsunday region as one of Australia’s top tourism destinations.
“This is not only recognition for Airlie Beach as one of Australia’s best Small Tourism Town 2023 but also for Proserpine, Bowen, Collinsville, our islands and everywhere in between, who all offer such a diverse range of visitor experiences.”