Tourism operators being recognised at annual awards
THEY have sent tourists on horseback around the Darling Downs, wined and dined others on the Noosa River and skipped travellers across the island-dotted Whitsundays.
Now some of Queensland's favourite tourism operators are being recognised for their stand-out services in the state's annual tourism awards.
More than 190 operators from across the state have nominated across 32 categories to win gold, silver and bronze awards at the gala ceremony in November.
The Sunshine Coast's Boathouse on the Noosa River is in the running in the restaurant and catering services category while the Hervey Bay's Grange Resort is a nominee to win the deluxe accommodation category.
The Mill Visitor Information Centre in Mackay is also in the running for the visitor information category.
Alongside the recognition and sense of pride that comes with winning a gong, nominees have also highlighted the business review advantages.
"We have found that the process of preparing the submission has always been beneficial from a business planning and marketing perspective," The Boathouse on Noosa River owner Danielle McPharlin said.
"The submission gives our key staff an excellent insight into our business and a much broader understanding of what we offer to our community and customers locally and what we contribute to the tourism industry as a whole."
For Grange Resort manager Peter Butler, the annual awards are a chance to increase their public profile.
"Being involved in the Queensland Tourism Awards is a chance to showcase the region and celebrate our pride in Hervey Bay as a tourist destination," he said.
"Our many outstanding features and natural attractions make it a must-see destination."
Outback tourism destinations have not missed out either.
Cowboy Up Trail Riding will compete for top honours in the adventure tourism category and the annual week-long Warwick Gold Cup Campdraft & Rodeo is a nominee in the festivals and events category.
Warwick Show & Rodeo Society treasurer Julia Kruger said the award process made her reflect on business operations.
"The award submission questions make us look at the way we operate in regards to creating a pleasurable experience for our visitors, marketing our event to our target audiences, planning our event and honouring our volunteers," he said.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive officer Daniel Gschwind said there had been a 12% increase in award nominations this year.
"The Queensland Tourism Awards recognise hard-working tourism businesses throughout our great state and this year we're excited to see an increase in nominations which coincide with some exciting new program announcements," Mr Gschwind said.
"The 2013 awards will usher in a new category - Excellence in Food Tourism - which recognises the ever-expanding market of top quality businesses which feature Queensland produce as part of their tourism experience."
The awards will be held in Brisbane on November, 22.
Gold award winners will automatically be entered into the Australian Tourism Awards.