QTIC Media Release - Sweet Victory for Mackay at Tourism Awards

Mackay tourism operators excelled at the 2019 Queensland Tourism Awards, with Sarina Sugar Shed recognised with two accolades and Ibis Mackay and The Mackay Region Visitor Information Centre both securing Silver in their categories.

Sarina Sugar Shed continued its four year winning streak and Hall of Fame induction in 2017, winning Gold in the Excellence in Food Tourism category for the fifth year in a row.

Presented at the newly constructed $10 million Sunshine Coast Convention Centre at Novotel Twin Waters Resort, more than 900 guests gathered to celebrate the achievements of Queensland’s best tourism operators.

A total of 83 Awards, including 26 Gold, 25 Silver, 24 Bronze, four highly commended and two individual Awards were presented across 28 categories, as well as two RACQ People’s Choice Awards.

QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the 35th annual Queensland Tourism Awards had brought together an outstanding selection of operators that truly reflected the diverse range of the State’s quality tourism offerings.

“This year’s entrants, across the 28 business, event and individual categories, demonstrate the extraordinary dedication and innovation of tourism operators across the State – all of whom are helping the Queensland tourism industry to thrive,” Mr Gschwind said.

More than 27.2 million international and domestic visitors flocked to the Sunshine State in the year ending June 2019, with 17.6 million of those tourists being intrastate visitors, which is an 11.9 per cent increase on the previous year’s intrastate visitation.

“Thanks to these visitors, the Queensland tourism industry’s contribution to the State’s gross product has been boosted to $27.2 billion and these visitation results continue to support more than 237,000 jobs across all regions of Queensland.

“For many of our Queensland operators, this year’s severe weather events has had a serious impact on their businesses, so these Awards are a reflection of the resilience and resourcefulness of all the operators and their staff in the industry.”

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the Queensland Tourism Awards provided an opportunity to celebrate the effort that goes into making the Sunshine State a favourite with domestic and international tourists.

“Congratulations to all Mackay winners and entrants, their contribution not only supports their local economy, but contributes to the backbone of Queensland’s $27.2 billion tourism industry,” Ms Jones said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to championing local tourism operators and Mackay operators are a shining example of why the industry continues to grow.” 

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills congratulated Mackay tourism operators for showcasing the diverse array of tourism offerings in their region at this year’s Queensland Tourism Awards.

“We are seeing an ongoing refresh of tourism product and the development and delivery of new offerings, which is essential for the success of the sector domestically and internationally. Well done to those operators who were recognised as part of the Awards tonight,” Mr Mills said.

“As the owner of the aviation gateways to the Gold Coast, Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach, we are acutely aware of the importance of excellence in the sector for us, the business sector and communities across the state.”

Each year, the Queensland Tourism Awards are judged by a panel of industry experts who volunteer their services to assess submissions and travel across Queensland to experience firsthand the amenities and services of the nominated operators.

Queensland’s Gold Award winners will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which will be held in Canberra on Friday 6 March 2020. Next year the Queensland Tourism Awards will be held at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 13 November 2020.


Mackay winners include:


Gold for Excellence in Food Tourism - Sarina Sugar Shed

Silver for Visitor Information Services – The Mackay Region Visitor Information Centre

Silver for Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries – Sarina Sugar Shed

Silver for Standard Accommodation – Ibis Mackay




Daniel Brown - Communications Officer

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Published: 8 October 2019 

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