Tourism Awards recognise Sunshine Coast high achievers

Tourism and the Sunshine Coast are synonymous with success, and the 2012 Queensland Tourism Awards recognised the regions high achievers presenting four top awards and 10 finalist places to Sunshine Coast tourism operators.
Australia Zoo has delighted the region winning the top gong in the Major Tourist Attraction category.
USM Events founder and tourism guru, Garth Prowd was awarded the Marie Watson Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual. Other winners on the night include The Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat in the Hosted Accommodation Category, and Noosa Visitor Information Centre for Visitor Information and Services.
Steve Cooper, CEO of Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL) congratulated the Sunshine Coast region winners.
“This is a terrific accolade for the highly deserving winners represented from across the region and for all finalists from the Sunshine Coast for their significant and outstanding contribution. While there have been difficult times over the past couple of years and it is very heartening to see tourism businesses coming up with innovative ways of operating, and generating some extraordinary results.”
Held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and presented by Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), the state’s largest annual tourism awards celebrated the success and achievements of the industry while acknowledging that this has been a year of recovery and rebuiliding.
Now in its 28th year, the largest and most highly regarded tourism awards were again run by the state’s peak industry body, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC).
Sunshine Coast ‘Queensland Tourism Awards’ recipients in 2012 are:

Major Tourist Attractions Australia Zoo
Visitor Information and Services Noosa Visitor Information Centre
Hosted Accommodation Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat
The Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual Garth Prowd
Tour and/or Transport Operators Noosa Dreamboats
Adventure Tourism Equathon
Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services The Boathouse Floating Restaurant
Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services The Long Apron Restaurant – Spicers Clovelly Estate
Hosted Accommodation Bli Bli House Luxury Bed and Breakfast
Standard Accommodation Maroochy River Resort & Bungalows
Luxury Accommodation Spicers Tamarind Retreat
Luxury Accommodation Spicers Clovelly Estate
Luxury Accommodation Oceans Mooloolaba
Health and Wellbeing Tourism Spa Anise – Spicers Tamarind Retreat

QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind said 2012 has been a tough year for many tourism operators, but overall the feeling at the awards was one of success and pride.
“I was inspired by how many businesses entered the awards this year, and I believe it represents the spirit and resilience that embodies the tourism industry in Queensland,” Mr Gschwind said.
The 2012 panel of judges includes:
· Elissa Keenan (Chair), Air Services Australia
· Kayleen Allen, Tourism Pearls
· Anna Case, Square One Events
· Peter Doggett, In2Tourism
· Greg Howe, Business Action Centre
· Ian Kean, Tourism Services Pty Ltd
· Stuart Kerr, Enterprise Connect
· Ron Livingston, Pinnacle Tourism Marketing
· Sue Mackenzie-Smith, Department of Employment, Economic Development & Innovation
· Mike Mahoney, Extra-Mile Tourism Management Pty Ltd
· Andrew Millward, RACQ
· Elizabeth Roberts, Southern Cross University
· Matthew Smith, Tourism Consultant
· Kim Thomas, International Management and Consulting
· Sue Thomson, Sanctuary Cove
· Kristine Toohey, Griffith University
· Liz Ward, Australian Tourism Data Warehouse
· Robyne Wilson, Tangalooma Island Resort
· Gary Young, AFL Cairns
QTIC produces the awards with the support of the naming rights sponsor Queensland Airports Limited and in partnership with Tourism Queensland and the Queensland Government.