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Resilient tourism operators honoured   

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 AFTER A bounce-back year, more than 1,000 tourism operators and individuals from around the state came together for the 2022 Queensland Tourism Awards, at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, on Friday night.

From ‘movers and shakers’ to Mum and Dad operators, Queensland’s tourism industry was championed with a total of 78 awards, including 31 Gold, 26 Silver and 20 Bronze Awards presented across 30 categories.

The Whitsundays shone with nine awards (see list below).

Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) CEO Brett Fraser said the 37th annual awards had brought together an outstanding selection of operators that truly reflect the diverse range of the state’s quality tourism offerings.

“Collectively, this year’s recipients are a testament to the strength and calibre of the state’s tourism operators, and I applaud this great industry and its people for the innovation and resilience they have displayed,” Mr Fraser said.

Leading the charge nationally, Queensland recorded its highest ever intrastate visitor rate, noting a 21.5 per cent increase totalling $12.4bn.

“As Queensland records its highest interstate and intrastate visitors ever, it’s special to be able to celebrate Queenslanders supporting Queenslanders at this year’s awards after what has been a tumultuous couple of years for the industry,” Mr Fraser said.

“In true Queenslander spirit, we are embracing the difficulties we face together by re-connecting and discovering places in our own backyard, as together we are drawn to holidays within our home state.

“The past two years have re-defined how people live, work and travel, and the intrastate tourism we are experiencing is directly correlated to this.

“But this exponential growth doesn’t come without major challenges for our operators who continue to battle with a lack of workforce.”

Next year the Queensland Tourism Awards will be held at the Cairns Convention Centre, on Friday, November 24, 2023.

The following Whitsundays operators won at the Queensland Tourism Awards:

Tourism Retail & Hire Services

Silver: Whitsunday Coast Airport

Bronze: Shute Harbour Marine Terminal

Major Tour and Transport Operators

Silver: Ocean Rafting

Adventure Tourism

Gold: Ocean Rafting

Caravan and Holiday Parks

Gold: Big4 Adventure Whitsundays Resort

Unique Accommodation

Bronze: Cruise Whitsundays – Reefstays

Self-Contained Accommodation

Silver: Pinnacles Resort

Bronze: Mirage Whitsundays

3-3.5 Star Accommodation

Gold: Magnums Accommodation Airlie Beach.

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