FUN OVER FIFTY - 2018 Gold Winner: The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism 

Silver Winner: Tour & Transport Operator

Fun Over Fifty has been entering the QTA awards since 2011 and in that time we have seen nothing but growth: our profile and market share have grown throughout Australia and into New Zealand; our business practices and innovations have grown and developed; and our drive and determination to be the very best has grown and continues to do so.

To be judged by our peers and recognised by the industry really is the icing on the cake.  The true  reward is the continual development and innovation, and increased brand awareness of our business. We have also seen great personal and professional development within our team, as we give a voice to our staff, encouraging them to critique our established practices and develop new innovations and products.

Each week we invest time and man power working on our strategies and achievements. Through continual self assessment and receiving industry body feedback, we now better understand the intricacies of our business. We feel that the awards application process encourages us to be better and do better. We brainstorm, challenge our ideas, innovate, review policies and practices, look for new industry partners, learn more, and through all of this, achieve more.

The annual awards ceremony is a chance for all industry members to celebrate achievements within our field and receive recognition for outstanding innovation and service to the tourism industry. It is also a chance for our team to celebrate our company's achievements. We are always inspired by the high calibre of tourism operators who partake in the awards. There are so many great leaders working alongside us, contributing to a strong and vibrant tourism sector in Queensland. Coming together for the awards evening creates a sense of unity as well as motivation and encouragement.

In 2016 we were awarded  Gold in 'The Steve Irwin Award for Eco Tourism' and 'Silver for Tour & Transport Operator.  This recognition gives us credibility, being able to display our awards on our website and in our brochure gives our customers faith in our product. We have seen proof of this through increases sales and customer confidence.

Thank you to all of our staff and customers who have supported us over the years and who have contributed to making Fun Over Fifty the leading tour operator it is today. As we look to the future, we are excited to continue to be a part of the QTA, striving for greatness within this process that drives us to constant improvement. 

Toni Brennan, CEO, Fun Over Fifty

BIG4 ADVENTURE WHITSUNDAY RESORT - 2018 Gold Winner: Caravan and Holiday Parks 2018 National winner: Caravan and Holiday Parks

Completing the submission process for the Queensland Tourism Awards is an important annual key business activity for BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort.  We won our first Queensland Tourism Award in 2006 and have won gold another five times since then, most recently in 2016. Collating information for the awards ties in with our annual business planning, covering all aspects of sales and marketing, operations, customer service, responsible tourism, innovation and much more. We share the process with our team which makes our staff incredibly proud when we win on a Queensland level.  To us, as much as we enjoy winning and the amazing sense of achievement we feel, it is an important overview of our business and a thorough analysis of the past year, which we are able to share with our team, while learning about our business operations, developing each area as identified and implementing future business planning.  We proudly promote our award wins and will continue to enter the Queensland Tourism Awards for years to come! 

Greg and Naomi McKinnon, Owners, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort


COBBOLD GORGE TOURS/COBBOLD VILLAGE  - 2018 Gold Winner & Hall of Fame: Hosted Accommodation

For Cobbold Gorge Tours and Cobbold Village as a small owner operator business in Outback Queensland, winning the Queensland Tourism Awards is a major endorsement to our business.  It is an absolute privilege to be recognised as the dual winner for Tourist Attractions and Hosted Accommodation categories in 2016. We enter the Queensland Tourism Awards to commit to overviewing our businesses processes and operations on an annual basis so we can confidently know we are offering the very best experience to our guests whilst providing a safe and enriching work environment for our staff.

Glenda Daly, Marketing - Cobbold Gorge Tours


RACV NOOSA RESORT - 2015, 2014 & 2013 Gold Winner: Deluxe Accommodation (Now in Hall of Fame)

The submission process required us to analyse all parts of our business including strategy, market segments, guest satisfaction, marketing, product, risk & safety, training, environment and community.  Our strengths and weaknesses soon became evident.  What gets measured gets done, and each year we worked hard to get better. Recognising our great team and working through a process that helps us continuously improve was the real benefit. Winning was just a bonus.

Darren McClenaghan, Resort Manager, RACV Noosa Resort

2015 Gold Winner: Excellence in Food Tourism and 2015 Gold Winner: Distilleries, Wineries and Breweries
2015 Bronze Winner: Most Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer Group

Sarina Sugar Shed has been entering the Queensland Tourism Awards (QTA) for the past seven years gaining Judges Commendations and Finalist awards but never a Gold.  We were extremely excited and honoured to have won 2015 Gold Award for Excellence in Food Tourism and Gold for Distilleries, Wineries and Breweries.  Our volunteers were also rewarded with a Bronze Award in the Most Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer Group.

Winning these awards has given our Council staff, volunteers and community well deserved recognition and is a great boost as we commence 2016 with new ideas, high spirits and expectations.  Our team is even more determined to provide our customers with excellence in products and service.

Winning these awards has already raised our profile and significantly increased visitation and we have been promoting our Award wins in all our marketing.

Members of the Sarina Sugar Shed and Council attended the QTA event and were able to celebrate not only with our team but also other regional representatives in attendance.

Everyone at the Awards was so excited for us and we enjoyed sharing in the successes of others and making contacts with those in the industry.  We commend the Queensland Tourism Awards and encourage tourism industry businesses to actively participate. 

Glenys Mansfield, Co-ordinator, Sarina Sugar Shed

AUSTRALIA ZOO - 2018 Gold Winner: Major Tourist Attractions

It’s such an honour to be recognised as the number one tourism attraction in Queensland.  This is one of the most beautiful places in the world and we’re so proud to be part of the industry that showcases it’s natural beauty and what we have to offer here. We’re humbled to receive this award as testament to our commitment to conservation through exciting education. We love wildlife and we’ll continue to put everything we’ve got into Australia Zoo, our team and the Sunshine Coast. 

Erina Kimore, Director of Sales, Australia Zoo

NOOSA BOATHOUSE  - 2015, 2014 & 2013 Gold Winner: Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services (Now in Hall of Fame)

Participating in the Queensland Tourism Awards gave us the opportunity to thoroughly analyse our business from top to bottom whilst completing the submission process. This process encouraged us to compile in-depth information including business planning, marketing strategy, innovation, customer service, product and responsible tourism. Having such a deep understanding of all these aspects of your business allows you to assess and initiate changes where needed to continually improve your business in the future.

Winning the award in our category was a fantastic achievement and it was wonderful for our dedicated team to be recognised for all their hard work. It generated some great publicity for our business, both regionally and across the state. We found it was also a great way to meet, mingle and network with other industry people at these events.

Sarah Bradford, Marketing, Noosa Boathouse 

 TOOWOOMBA CARNIVAL OF FLOWERS - Gold Winner  & QLD Hall of Fame Major Festivals and Events 2018, Nationals Hall of Fame Inductee 2018

Oh Petals, where do we start! The locals love it and visitors travel from all over the country to be part of the QTA award-winning Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. 2015 was a blooming awesome year for the Carnival, taking home the big gold bling of Major Festivals and Events. The Carnival grows each year with fantastic festivals, spectacular gardens, live music, tours, good and much more held over 10 days each September. The QTA awards process digs deep into the nutrients of our event, it lets us share the seeds of our success, weed out our weaknesses and propagate ready for next year's showcase. Our team may be small but winning was like springtime on the lawn, we blooming loved it! Thanks bunches and we will continue to value the QTA process and use it to sprout up bigger and brighter for next year!

Melissa Kite, Event Coordinator, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

CAIRNS CONVENTION CENTRE - Gold Winner Business Tourism 2014

“Winning Gold for Business Tourism at the Queensland Tourism Awards was a great honour for the Cairns Convention Centre and is wonderful  recognition for our hard working team.  The process of preparing the submission also contributes to a full review of our operations, highlights for the year and our overall performance.  Additionally, the Award provides us with another marketing tool which validates our position as a leading business events venue.”

Ross Steele, General Manager, Cairns Convention Centre

BLI BLI HOUSE - Gold Winner Hosted Accommodation 2014

"The Queensland Tourism Awards have motivated us to take an objective look at how we conduct our business. The process has encouraged us to work on and improve our business in many areas. It has helped us identify our strengths as well as work on our weaknesses. Winning an award has been paramount in gaining industry recognition as well as improving our promotional and marketing opportunities. Being part of the Awards from year to year has helped us keep up with industry trends, critique and analyse our business plan and has given us a greater credibility with in our business sector." 

Phil and Merryl Greenbury, Owners, Bli Bli House


CHILDERS ECO-LODGE - Gold Winner New Tourism Development 2014

"Winning the Queensland Tourism Award for New Tourism Development has been great for raising our profile in the regional community as well as cementing our reputation amongst travellers.  As a new business, the submission process was an ideal prompt to review our business planning against actual results, and now provides a benchmark we can compare year on year. Seeing on paper what we have achieved in our first year, let alone winning, was incredibly satisfying and a great boost personally being a husband and wife team who fulfil all roles in the business.

Rhys and Vanessa Kummerow, Owners, Childers Eco-Lodge





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