Sunshine Coast owners of Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, Montville, Joanne and Mark Skinner are preparing to head to Tasmania to represent the Queensland tourism industry as winners of the Hosted Accommodation award for 2012.
The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards are the Australian Tourism Industry’s premier awards program.
They are the most anticipated Australian tourism event, celebrating and recognising excellence in tourism across Australia and this year is being held on Friday 15 February, in Hobart, Tasmania.
Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat is a boutique hideaway with six luxuriously appointed cottages.
Set amidst a subtropical rainforest and meandering creek, the retreat specialises in romantic couple getaways where guests can relax, rejuvenate and revive their senses.
“We are delighted to be representing the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and Queensland at this year’s awards,” said Joanne.
“Over the last six years we have actively worked towards building our business for growth in the national and international markets and are thrilled the Australian tourism industry have recognised our achievements,” she said.
Joanne and Mark have succeeded when many have faltered on the Sunshine Coast in a challenging economic climate.
“We have travelled internationally to promote our business and the Sunshine Coast,” said Mark.
This includes trade shows in Australia, the UK, Germany, Finland and Korea.
The Skinners also promote the Sunshine Coast to inbound tour operators targeting those countries and have been rewarded with clients from all over the world.
“It’s not easy or fast, it’s a long-term view to meet people in the industry, form relationships and then do business,” said Mark.
The Skinners also applied for and received an Austrade Export Market Development Grant for bringing in export dollars.
“It’s important to promote the Sunshine Coast to the local, national and international markets,” said Mark.
The couple have also had a lot of support from the tourism and travel industry, like Skal International, Sunshine Coast Destination, the Australian Tourism Export Council and Tourism Events Queensland.