Cairns region takes two top gongs at tourism awards
THE Far North won two prizes in 31 categories at the Queensland Tourism Awards in Brisbane last night.
Last year, the region won three gongs and two years ago, eight. This year Brisbane and the Whitsundays dominated with eight wins each.
The Far North had 18 finalists.
Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast was judged the major tourist attraction and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week was the major festival and events winner.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said 2012 had been a tough year for many tourism operators, but overall the feeling at the awards was one of success and pride.
"I was inspired by how many businesses entered the awards this year and I believe it represents the spirit and resilience that embodies the tourism industry in Queensland," he said.
Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the awards were a benchmark for industry excellence.
"The Government recognises tourism as one of the four pillars of the economy and is working with the industry to restore confidence and boost visitation across the state," she said. "It was fantastic to meet so many committed tourism and associated industry operators at the DestinationQ Forum in Cairns in June of this year and to work together with them."
Two Far Northerners, Pinnacle Tourism marketing director Ron Livingston and Gary Young from AFL Cairns, were on the judging panel.
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