Media Releases

Tourism Operators Celebrate Successful Year

Celebrating the success of local tourism operators and their contribution to the region’s economy took centre stage at the 2018 Mackay Region Tourism Awards, held last night at the Windmill Motel and Events Centre.

115 people were in attendance last night, representing the region’s tourism businesses and industry stakeholders including Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert MP, Mayor of Mackay Regional Council Cr. Greg Williamson and Mayor of Isaac Regional Council Cr. Anne Baker.

Capping off a successful year for tourism, which saw record numbers of domestic and international visitors, the Mackay Region Tourism Awards saw 19 operators achieve success across 16 categories.

Multi award winners included Sarina Sugar Shed, Rainforest Scuba, ibis Mackay and The Feathered Nest – Luxury Wildlife Retreat.

New entrant Twenty 50 Nice Cream put the sweetener on a successful first year of operation with a gold award for a New Tourism Business and a silver in the Tourism Restaurant and Catering Services category.

Judy Langdon, Owner of Hay Point Country Bed & Breakfast and Mackay Tourism Board member was recognised for her contribution to the tourism industry with the award of Outstanding Contribution by an Individual.

New for this year, were the induction of three tourism operators into the Mackay Region Tourism Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame being reserved for operators who had won gold for three consecutive years in their respective category.

The inaugural Hall of Fame inductees were Sarina Sugar Shed into the Tourist Attraction, and Excellence in Food Tourism categories, ibis Mackay for Standard Accommodation, and The Feathered Nest – Luxury Wildlife Retreat for Unique Accommodation.

General Manager of Mackay Tourism, Tas Webber, congratulated the award winners.

“The 2018 Mackay Region Tourism Awards are an opportunity to recognise the valuable contribution our hard-working operators make to our tourism industry and the Mackay and Isaac regional communities”.

Mr Webber continued, “The Mackay Region is blessed with many dedicated tourism operators that Mackay Tourism has the pleasure of working with. The hard work and professionalism of tourism operators across the region allows us to market our region across the world, and brings joy and lasting memories to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year”.

“I would like to congratulate the award winners and I am confident that 2019 will bring further success and growth for The Mackay Region’s tourism industry” said Mr Webber.

2018 Mackay Region Tourism Awards Winners

 

Tourist Attraction

 

Gold – Sarina Sugar Shed

 

Bronze – Rainforest Scuba

 

Festivals and Events

 

Bronze – Elton John ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Tour - Mackay Regional Council

 

Adventure Tourism

 

Bronze – Rainforest Scuba

 

Business Event Venues

 

Gold – Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre

 

Tour and Transport Operators

 

Bronze – Rainforest Scuba

 

Excellence in Food Tourism

 

Gold – Sarina Sugar Shed

 

Tourism Restaurant and Catering Services

 

Gold – The Old Station Teahouse

 

Silver – Twenty50 Nice Cream

 

Ecotourism

 

Bronze – Rainforest Scuba

 

Standard Accommodation

 

Gold – Ibis Mackay

Bronze - Comfort Resort Blue Pacific 

 

Unique Accommodation

 

Gold – The Feathered Nest – Luxury Wildlife Retreat

 

Hosted Accommodation

 

Bronze – Hay Point Country Bed and Breakfast

 

Caravan and Holiday Parks

 

Gold – Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park

 

Silver – BIG4 Mackay Blacks Beach Holiday Park

 

New Tourism Business

 

Gold – Twenty50 Nice Cream

 

Young Achiever

 

Sophie Bonanno

 

Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group

 

Sarina Tourist Art and Craft Centre

 

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

 

Judy Langdon

 

2018 Hall of Fame

 

Tourist Attraction

 

Gold – Sarina Sugar Shed

 

Excellence in Food Tourism

 

Gold – Sarina Sugar Shed

 

Standard Accommodation

 

Gold – Ibis Mackay

 

Unique Accommodation

 

Gold – The Feathered Nest – Luxury Wildlife Retreat

 

2018 Mackay Region Tourism Awards - Quotes

 Ben & Renae Atheron – Owners of Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park

Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park won gold for Caravan and Holiday Parks

“From the win we have received here tonight, Ben & I would like to thank the combined efforts of our Team members, the support and feedback from our guests, the partnerships with local businesses and networks with industry bodies that have enabled our business to grow, flourish and continue to work towards positive future goals. It is this kind of mix and support that makes a win all the more worthwhile”.

“Tonight’s event demonstrates the strength of The Mackay Region’s tourism industry. As a collective of tourism operators, supporting Mackay Tourism has enabled our industry to attract more visitors than ever before and create jobs and business growth across our region. I encourage all tourism businesses to join Mackay Tourism to help market and develop their product and capitalise on the stellar growth of tourism in The Mackay and Isaac Regions”.

 

Scott Grant – General Manager of ibis Mackay

Ibis Mackay won gold for Standard Accommodation and was awarded Hall of Fame for Standard Accommodation.

“It’s absolutely fantastic being in The Mackay Region. We opened in 2015 and have consistently focused on delivering the very best customer service”.

“The Mackay Region is developing as a tourism destination, attracting new visitors from the corporate, holiday and event markets. What individual tourism operators, and Mackay and Isaac Regional Councils are doing is absolutely amazing”.

 

Judy Langdon – Owner of Hay Point Country Bed & Breakfast

Hay Point Country Bed & Breakfast won bronze for Hosted Accommodation and Judy Langdon won the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual award

“I feel very proud to receive this award, however no individual can achieve this kind of success without being part of a strong group. I feel that being a Board Member of Mackay Tourism, being a member of Mackay Tourism, and being a part of the Sarina Tourist Arts and Crafts has given me a good vision of where tourism can go in our community”.

 

Michele Shea – Owner of The Old Station Tea House

The Old Station Tea House won gold for Tourism Restaurant and Catering Services

“Winning an award tonight demonstrates our passion for our business, having a passion for tourism, and having a passion for our Mackay Region. It’s a very gratifying experience to win an award, and I would encourage everyone involved in tourism to enter”.

 

Contact: 

Daniel Brown - Communications Officer

0448 994 180

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Published: 5 October 2018