Top tourism businesses celebrated at Awards night 

The Mackay Region’s tourism industry was celebrated at the 2017 Mackay Region Tourism Awards night at Magpies Sporting Club last night.

First time winner, Michele Shea from the Old Station Teahouse, who took gold in the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services, said for her, the formula for the success was simple.

“Tourism is not rocket science; it’s just about being nice to people,” she said.

“It’s important to be the business that your customers would recommend to family and friends.”

Michele was one of ten operators and individuals to take out top honours at the region’s biggest industry awards night.

Rainforest Scuba and Sarina Sugar Shed claimed gold in three categories this year and new category winners included Mackay Marina Run and the Windmill Motel & Event Centre.

Mackay Regional Council’s Senior Economic Development Officer, Lassara Reinke, was awarded the Young Achiever award for her contribution to the tourism industry, while Sarah Salleras from Shamrock Gardens Motel claimed gold in the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual.

Mackay Airport General Manager and Mackay Tourism Chairman, Rob Porter, said the Awards are the perfect platform to celebrate what the tourism industry is achieving.

“The Awards acknowledge excellence in tourism and inspire our operators to continue to deliver world-class experiences to visitors in The Mackay Region,” Mr Porter said.

“The quality of the entries in the Mackay Region Tourism Awards continues to grow and impress each year. I thank everyone who has participated, as well as those who work so hard to make the Awards happen, or support them through sponsorship.”

Mackay Tourism General Manager, Tas Webber, said it was fantastic to celebrate the hard work of operators, as well as successful growth within the tourism industry, over the past 12 months.

“We’ve had an extremely busy year in tourism with some challenging moments after TC Debbie, but also many successes including three quarters of international growth, and two quarters of domestic growth,” Mr Webbers said.

“Many of our tourism operators are extremely busy with their businesses throughout the year, so this is a great chance for them to stand back and recognise the achievements that have been made this year.”  

“It was also great to see some new operators enter the awards, including The Family Table and Plattered Up who received silver awards.”


2017 Mackay Region Tourism Award Winners

Adventure Tourism

Gold:      Rainforest Scuba


Gold:      Rainforest Scuba

Tour and Transport

Gold:      Rainforest Scuba

Silver:     Mackay Transit Coaches

Tourist Attraction

Gold:      Sarina Sugar Shed

Silver:     Rainforest Scuba              

Food Excellence

Gold:      Sarina Sugar Shed

Silver:     Plattered Up                               

Business Event Venue

Gold:      Windmill Motel and Event Centre 

Deluxe Accommodation

Gold:      Riviera Mackay

Unique Accommodation

Gold:      The Feathered Nest – Luxury Wildlife Retreat

Silver:     Hay Point Country Bed and Breakfast

Standard Accommodation

Gold:      Ibis Mackay

Silver:     Mackay Resort Motel

Bronze: Shamrock Gardens Motel

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services

Gold:      The Old Station Teahouse

Silver:     The Family Table

Festivals and Events

Gold:      Mackay Marina Run

Silver:     Mackay Festival of Arts 

Bronze: Mackay Beach Horse Races

Young Achiever

Gold:      Lassara Reinke

Silver:     Sharnie Evans

Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group

Gold:      Sarina Sugar Shed

Silver:     John and John

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

Gold:      Sarah Salleras




Melissa Woods - Communications Officer

0448 994 180

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Published: 16 September 2017


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