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Sunshine Coast operators shine at Queensland Tourism Awards 2023

The Sunshine Coast winners at the Queensland Tourism Awards were as follows...

In a spectacular display of excellence, Sunshine Coast operators have walked away with an impressive haul of awards at the annual Queensland Tourism Awards 2023, held in Cairns over the weekend.

The Sunshine Coast contestants secured three gold, three silver, and three bronze awards, reaffirming their commitment to providing distinctive and authentic experiences to visitors.

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The Sunshine Coast winners at the Queensland Tourism Awards were as follows:

Double Gold Awards:
  • Creative Tours/Josh Donohoe – Creative Tours, led by Josh Donohoe, secured double gold in the Tour and Transport Operators category and the Excellence in Food category. This recognition highlights their pioneering efforts in showcasing the Sunshine Coast’s rich food and drink trails. Josh Donohoe’s tireless dedication to promoting the region as Australia’s Craft Beer Capital also earned the Visit Sunshine Coast team a silver award for their marketing campaign. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in the innovative Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry program, which is championing the region’s agritourism attractions.
Gold Award:
  • Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat clinched the gold award in the Hosted Accommodation category, underlining their commitment to providing exceptional hosted accommodation experiences.
Silver Awards:
  • Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat – Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat was awarded silver in the Hosted Accommodation category.
  • RACV Noosa Resort – RACV Noosa Resort secured silver in the Self Contained Accommodation category.
  • Visit Sunshine Coast – Visit Sunshine Coast earned silver in the Richard Power Award for Tourism Marketing and Campaigns for their campaign on “Australia’s Craft Beer Capital.”
Bronze Awards:
  • Tourism Noosa – Tourism Noosa was awarded bronze in the Richard Power Award for Tourism Marketing and Campaigns for their “Find Your Inner Noosa Winter Campaign.”
  • Glass on Glasshouse – Glass on Glasshouse secured bronze in the Hosted Accommodation category.
  • Pelican Boat Hire – Pelican Boat Hire clinched bronze in the Tourism Retail & Hire Services category.

Expressing his congratulations, Matt Stoeckel, CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast, emphasized the exceptional quality and professionalism of the Sunshine Coast’s tourism operators. He praised Josh Donohoe and Creative Tours for their relentless efforts in highlighting distinctive experiences on the Sunshine Coast, especially in the realm of food and drink trails.

Image courtesy of VSC, Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat

Stoeckel further applauded the boutique accommodation sector on the Sunshine Coast, highlighting the consistent recognition received by operators such as Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, Bli Bli Riverside Retreat, and Glass on Glasshouse. These operators are known for their meticulous attention to detail, operating in pristine environments, and delivering personal and professional service.

What sets this year’s awards apart is the geographic diversity of the winners, reflecting the excellence spread across the Sunshine Coast region, from Glass on Glasshouse in the south to RACV Noosa Resort, Pelican Boat Hire, and Tourism Noosa in the north, covering both beachside and hinterland destinations.

After a highly successful year, with the Sunshine Coast recording record domestic expenditure for the 2022-23 period, these accolades serve as a perfect end to the year, celebrating the local operators who have played a pivotal role in showcasing the region’s tourism excellence.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe also extended his congratulations to the award winners and finalists, acknowledging their contribution to creating world-class visitor experiences. He highlighted Queensland’s place as the nation’s favorite holiday destination, with a record $33.2 billion visitor economy, attributing it to the ingenuity and commitment of the state’s tourism operators.

Gold award winners from Queensland will now advance to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, scheduled to be held in the Northern Territory on Friday, March 15, 2024.

Looking ahead, the Queensland Tourism Awards for the next year will take place at The Star in Brisbane, promising another exciting showcase of tourism excellence.

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