The Bundaberg Region will shine on a national stage in the upcoming Qantas Australian Tourism Awards with three local businesses to be be showcased at the event.
The Windmill Café Bargara, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort and Bundaberg Rum Distillery Visitor Experience will be competing with the nation’s best after having already won gold at a state level at the Queensland Tourism Awards.
The Windmill Café and Eco Resort are competing in the hotly contested Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services and The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism award categories, while the Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience are finalists in two categories – Tourist Attractions and Tourism Wineries Distilleries and Breweries.
Bundaberg Rum are hoping to continue their winning streak after having won gold in the Tourism Wineries Distilleries and Breweries award category for the past two years. If they take home gold a third time, they will enter the coveted national Hall of Fame.
Presented at the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre on March 18, more than 700 tourism operators and guests will gather to see if Bundaberg’s finest visitor experiences are crowned the best in the country.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Chief Executive and Australian Tourism Awards Chair Daniel Gschwind says that Bundaberg is a perfect example of the outstanding quality and professionalism of our Queensland operators.
“It is a great honour to have so many Queensland businesses represented on the national stage. Each of our state finalists should be incredibly proud of their achievements,” he said.
“Many of these tourism operators have faced uncertainty and tremendous difficulties over the past two years.
“Yet, despite the tough times, they’ve shown incredible resilience and a steadfast commitment to delivering world-class visitor experiences.
“The national awards provide us with an opportunity to celebrate the amazing people behind the tourism businesses who provide so much to not only the economy, but to our regions and local communities.”
Duncan Littler, Bundaberg Rum Distillery Marketing and Experience Manager said he was incredibly proud to be a finalist in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category for the third year in a row, as well as a finalist in the Tourism Attraction category.
“These awards really highlight the fantastic passion and energy our team share with our visitors, making the iconic Bundaberg Rum Distillery the place it is today,” he said.
Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort added they were thrilled to be a finalist in the Australian Tourism Awards, after recently winning the Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism in 2021.
“It would be an honour to be recognised in this category, as it would showcase our continual commitment to the environment and sustainability, as well as giving us an opportunity to whole heartedly thank our entire team on Lady Elliot Island,” Peter Gash said.
Joey Caruana, owner of the Windmill Café Bargara added having the opportunity to represent The Windmill Café and Bargara was a true testament to their passionate, hardworking and innovative team, supportive community, and high-quality local producers.
“After what has been an incredibly challenging two years for industry, we are overjoyed to have won the 2021 Queensland Tourism Award for Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services and look forward to continuing to share our passion with locals and travellers alike,” he said.
Not only is Bundaberg well represented at the Australian Tourism Awards this year, but collectively, Queensland can boast having 21 finalists in the national awards.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Awards’ strong Queensland representation demonstrated commitment to recovery.
“In the last two years, resilient Queensland tourism operators have found opportunities to build back better”, Mr Hinchliffe said.
“They’ve strived for excellence in delivering outstanding, visitor-focused experiences and new, world-class tourism infrastructure.
“The tremendous determination of tourism operators is reflected in the Awards’ 21 Queensland finalists.”
Tickets to the Australian Tourism Awards are still available, with everyone encouraged to secure their seat to tourism’s “night of nights”.
More information on the event is available here.