HAPPY DAYS: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort take out silver at the Qantas Australia Tourism Awards.
HAPPY DAYS: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort take out silver at the Qantas Australia Tourism Awards.

Locals in high spirits after national tourism win

BUNDABERG thrived under the national tourism spotlight of the Qantas Australia Tourism Awards, with local operators taking out not one, but two major awards.

Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience took out the gold at the gala on Friday night for the Tourism, Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category, making them back to back winners for the national award; while Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort brought home a silver in the eco-tourism category, beating its 2018 Bronze accolade.

GOLDEN MOMENT: Bundaberg Rum bring home gold at the Qantas Australia Tourism Awards.
GOLDEN MOMENT: Bundaberg Rum bring home gold at the Qantas Australia Tourism Awards.

Bundy Rum’s marketing and experience manager Duncan Littler said it was fantastic to be able to get the gold in Canberra for Bundy.

He said the success of the distillery on the national tourism stage came down to a culmination of an amazing experience and amazing people.

Mr Littler said the win highlighted why Bundaberg should be on everyone’s bucketlist, whether you're a domestic or international tourist, he encouraged everyone to step into the distillery and see for themselves why it’s “world class”.

While he couldn’t reveal what projects Bundy Rum has in the barrel, Mr Littler said they had a big focus on innovation for both their experience and product for what would be a “really exciting year at the distillery”.

GOLDEN MOMENT: Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience stole the show taking home its second consecutive Gold win in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category, putting it on track as Hall of Fame hopefuls for next year's national awards.
GOLDEN MOMENT: Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience stole the show taking home its second consecutive Gold win in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category, putting it on track as Hall of Fame hopefuls for next year's national awards.

Managing director/custodian of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort Peter Gash said they were excited to have won the eco-tourism silver, along side The Maria Island Walk who won gold and Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park placing bronze.

“There are so many incredible operators paving the way forward in eco-tourism and we are honoured to have been alongside them on Friday night, representing the great state of Queensland,” he said.

“This award is fantastic for both Queensland and our region of Bundaberg, Southern Great Barrier Reef.

“Eco-tourism is at the core of our business and we will continue to learn, develop and grow our sustainable initiatives and reduce our environmental impact for the future of the Great Barrier Reef and the planet overall.”

SILVER LINING: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort take out silver for ecotourism at the Qantas Australia Tourism Awards.
SILVER LINING: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort take out silver for ecotourism at the Qantas Australia Tourism Awards.

Mr Gash thanked their “amazing team and loyal guests” as well as Bundaberg Tourism; Fraser Coast Tourism; Destination Gold Coast; Southern Great Barrier Reef, Tourism Events and Queensland, Tourism Australia and the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.

He also congratulated all the finalists and winners at the Australian Tourism Awards.

The Windmill Cafe was also nominated for an award at the event.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive and Australian Tourism Awards Chair Daniel Gschwind said Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience and Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort were perfect examples of the high calibre of tourism offerings that Queensland is known for.

HAPPY DAYS: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort take out silver at the Qantas Australia Tourism Awards.
HAPPY DAYS: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort take out silver at the Qantas Australia Tourism Awards.

“With such a competitive array of destinations across the country, it is reassuring to see Queensland operators excel at these national Awards time and time again, and reinforce the State’s reputation as a must-see-destination,” Mr Gschwind said.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones also passed on her congratulations to the region’s winners.

“It’s operators like these that ensure hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit Queensland want to return year-in, year-out,” Ms Jones said.

“It’s been a tough year for many tourism businesses across the state. That’s why it’s more important

than ever before that we stick together, rally around our operators and recognise their resilience and outstanding achievements.

“Tourism is a rapidly evolving industry and Queensland operators continue to go above and beyond

to make this state a hotspot for remarkable experiences.

“The Australian Tourism Awards are a great way to kick off the year and celebrate the important

contribution that our tourism operators make, not only to our economy but to their regions as well.”