Strong Mackay Showing at Queensland Tourism Awards

Mackay Region tourism operators were the toast of Queensland’s tourism industry at the 2018 Queensland Tourism Awards, held Friday night at The Star Gold Coast.

The growth of tourism in the region was evidenced with Mackay punching well above its weight with seven operators in the running for nine awards.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the 34th Queensland Tourism Awards had attracted a high calibre of tourism operators across all award categories, with more than 170 entries received state-wide.

“This year’s entrants across 28 business, event and individual categories reflect the diverse and dynamic range of tourism operators helping Queensland’s tourism industry flourish,” he said.

“Queensland’s tourism industry continues to demonstrate just how invaluable its contribution is to the state’s economy, contributing $25 billion or 7.8 per cent of the state’s gross product, and employing 217,000 people.

“International visitor numbers for Queensland have seen record growth in the 12 months to June 2018, increasing 5.5 per cent. Some 2.7 million international visitors generated $5.7 billion in overnight expenditure.

“While the industry continues to see growth in visitor numbers and expenditure, Queensland must strive to remain competitive in the global market.”

The Mackay Region collected one Gold and two Silvers.

Award winners from the night were;

  • Gold for Excellence in Food Tourism – Sarina Sugar Shed
  • Silver for Standard Accommodation – Ibis Mackay
  • Silver for Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries – Sarina Sugar Shed

After winning two golds and achieving Hall of Fame Status at The Mackay Region Tourism Awards, the Queensland Tourism Awards heralded further success for the Sarina Sugar Shed.

Cr Karen May attended the awards at the Gold Coast and accepted Gold for Excellence in Food Tourism and Silver for Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries on behalf of the Sarina Sugar Shed.

“It’s a real honour to achieve these two awards and represent The Mackay Region’s tourism industry”, Cr May said.

“After being inducted into the QTA Hall of Fame last year for Excellence in Food Tourism, we’re really humbled by the amazing support of The Mackay Region and Tourism and Events Queensland,” she said.

“In the last financial year, we had an incredible 17,000 visitors, with over 10,000 taking a guided tour of the Sugar Shed, Australia’s only miniature, fully working sugar mill and distillery.”

Cr Karen May was joined by Cr Fran Mann, Sugar Shed Coordinator Glenys Mansfield and Tour Guide Betty Burrows to represent the Sarina Sugar Shed and The Mackay Region.

Doing the region proud were also nominees Mackay Regional Council, Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, The Old Station Teahouse, Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park and The Feathered Nest – Luxury Wildlife Retreat.

General Manager of Mackay Tourism, Tas Webber, congratulated all award winners and nominees.

“What a fantastic achievement for the operators, and The Mackay Region to have three medal winners and nine nominees at the Queensland Tourism Awards”.

Mr. Webber continued “Our tourism industry is built off the hard work and dedication of our local tourism operators. Following a hugely successful year for Mackay’s tourism industry, it’s important we recognise and celebrate the success of our operators”.



Daniel Brown - Communications Officer

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Published: 16 November 2018 

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