Competing with the nation’s best tourism products, Bundaberg Rum Distillery Visitor Experience was the big winner at last night's Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, walking away with top honours for a third time in Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries.
Bundaberg Rum qualified for the awards, along with fellow local operators The Windmill Cafe Bargara and Lady Elliot Eco Island Resort, after winning gold at the state awards.
Having achieved a golden hat trick, the Distillery Experience was inducted into the Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.
Presented at the Sunshine Coast Convention Centre, more than 700 tourism operators and guests gathered on Friday 18 March to recognise the achievements and resilience of Australia’s finest visitor experiences.
In his acceptance speech last night, Bundaberg Rum Distillery Marketing Manager Duncan Littler said it was an amazing team of people who had attributed to the company's success.
“To be inducted into the hall of fame is absolutely incredible and fantastic recognition of the brilliant team we have got at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery,” he said.
“I really don't think you can get a better team!
“There are so many great distilleries, breweries and wineries around Australia so thank you very much, we really look forward to working with you all in what I am sure is going to be an absolutely massive year in the tourism industry.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated Bundaberg Rum and the region's other national award finalists.
“Seeing one of our iconic attractions inducted into the Australian tourism Hall of Fame has confirmed what we locals already knew – the Bundaberg Region is home to some of the best experiences in the country, if not the world,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“The entire team behind the Bundaberg Rum Distillery deserves our congratulations for all they do to raise the profile of our region as a fantastic place to live, work, play and invest.
“Congratulations also to fellow local finalists The Windmill Cafe and Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort. While they haven't come away with a win at the national awards, competing at this level and placing our region on the national stage is a huge achievement in itself.”
Overall, Queensland tourism celebrated a remarkable night by accepting 15 accolades at this year’s national Awards with six gold, five silver, and four bronze being awarded to exceptional Sunshine State operators.
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.”
The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards celebrates innovation and exceptional standards in tourism; and is made possible through the generosity of sponsors, in particular Qantas, Tourism Australia, the Queensland Government, Novotel Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Council, Visit Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Airport.