Tourism in Bundaberg is on way up

BUNDABERG North Burnett Tourism boss Katherine Reid is confident tourism in Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef region will keep going from strength to strength.

Her prediction comes after a stellar night for the region at the Queensland Tourism Awards Friday night.

The $25 billion state tourism industry recognised its most outstanding, dedicated and successful operators at the awards ceremony and a string of Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef businesses were among those honoured.

Ms Reid said the region had an extraordinary group of tourism businesses and it was wonderful to have some of the region's great experiences recognised in the highly competitive state awards which attracted more than 160 nominations.


TEAM BUNDABERG: A who's who of Bundaberg tourism was at the state awards on Friday night in Brisbane.
TEAM BUNDABERG: A who's who of Bundaberg tourism was at the state awards on Friday night in Brisbane.

"It's through sheer hard work, passion and collaboration," Ms Reid said of the success.

"If we continue to work together, focus on supporting each other and delivering extraordinary visitor experiences, the tourism industry across the Bundaberg North Burnett will continue to grow, numbers will remain

strong, injecting dollars

into our local economy and our community will prosper."

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort set the benchmark for ecotourism around the state taking out the prestigious Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism.

The award recognises ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.

Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort managing director Peter Gash was on hand to accept the award.

"We are so very honoured to be awarded the Steve Irwin Ecotourism Award," he said in a statement.

"But it would never have happened without all of the amazing support from so many wonderful people both within our crew and from all around Queensland.

"We are humbled by this experience and say thanks to everyone for believing in us and supporting our cause."

The family-operated Kellys Beach Resort won a Silver Award in the Standard Accommodation category.

Kellys Beach Resort business director Loni Hammond said the team was humbled by the award.

"A huge thank you to our loyal and committed staff and to the support we receive from BNBT, QTIC and TEQ," Ms Hammond said.

"It was great to celebrate our success alongside our fellow Southern Great Barrier Reef colleagues and the best of the Queensland tourism industry."

Bundaberg Rum also won a gong, collecting a Bronze Award in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category.

"With each award win, we are more humbled that our Queensland icon continues to delight visitors from both near and afar," Bundaberg Rum's senior brand manager Duncan Littler said.

"Everyone here at the distillery works hard to create a unique experience for each and every guest so they'll remember their experience for years to come."

In the Cultural Tourism category the Hinkler Hall of Aviation also won bronze.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said for the Hinkler Hall of Aviation to receive the recognition was just reward for the commitment Bundaberg Region Council, its staff and the community had made in preserving the memory and deeds of a genuine Australian hero.

"The Hinkler Hall of Aviation is an iconic Bundaberg Region attraction that continues to expand with the legend of our hometown hero Bert Hinkler," Cr Dempsey said.

"This award raises the profile of the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and the beautiful Bundaberg region and I am sure inspires and delights our community."

During the week, Suzie Clarke of Bundy Food Tours, was also recognised as a tourism leader when she was invited to be a guest speaker at the Queensland tourism industry's DestinationQ event.

Now in its sixth year, DestinationQ is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the state's tourism industry.

The theme of the 2017 forum was Competitiveness from Collaboration in the tourism sector and featured international keynote speakers, as well as industry presentations by tourism businesses who represent best practice and that are working closely with their destination to support a common vision.

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