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Sunshine Coast tourism operators took out three gold, three silver and three bronze awards in the annual Queensland Tourism Awards, held in Cairns over the weekend.

The winners were:

  • Creative Tours – double GOLD in the Tour and Transport Operators and Excellence in Food categories
  • Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat – GOLD in Hosted Accommodation
  • Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat – SILVER in Hosted Accommodation
  • RACV Noosa Resort – SILVER in Self Contained Accommodation
  • Visit Sunshine Coast – SILVER in the Richard Power Award for Tourism Marketing and Campaigns for Australia’s Craft Beer Capital
  • Tourism Noosa – BRONZE in the Richard Power Award for Tourism Marketing and Campaigns for the Find Your Inner Noosa Winter Campaign
  • Glass on Glasshouse – BRONZE in Hosted Accommodation
  • Pelican Boat Hire – BRONZE in Tourism Retail & Hire Services

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Matt Stoeckel, congratulated all the award winners and nominees, saying the success reflected the exceptional quality and professionalism of the Sunshine Coast’s tourism operators.

“I want to particularly congratulate Josh Donohoe and the Creative Tours team for their double gold in the awards because Josh has been at the forefront of our industry in highlighting the distinctive and authentic experiences available for visitors to the Sunshine Coast,” said Mr Stoeckel.

“Creative Tours have been pioneering in their development and delivery of tours focusing on the Sunshine Coast’s rich food and drink trails. He has played a key role in building the Sunshine Coast’s position as Australia’s Craft Beer Capital, which also won the Visit Sunshine Team a silver award for the marketing of the campaign. More recently he has contributed to our innovative Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry program, which is promoting the region’s agritourism attractions.

“He works closely with partners in the industry bringing together many elements of what makes the Sunshine Coast so special, and his collegiate and tireless approach has been rewarded with these accolades at the Queensland Tourism Awards.

“I would also like to congratulate our boutique accommodation sector. Once again, Sunshine Coast operators have dominated the Hosted Accommodation category, with Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat, Bli Bli Riverside Retreat and Glass on Glasshouse consistently recognised in such prestigious awards competitions. All three are renowned for their attention to detail, the way they operate in such pristine environments and their personal and professional service.

“What is particularly encouraging about this year’s awards that the winners come from across the Sunshine Coast region – from Glass on Glasshouse in the south to RACV Noosa Resort, Pelican Boat Hire, and Tourism Noosa in the north, and from beachside to hinterland.

“After a highly successful year with the Sunshine Coast recording record domestic expenditure for the 2022-23 period, it is the perfect end to the year to be able to celebrate the local operators who have contributed so much to showcasing the region’s tourism excellence.”

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Queensland Tourism Awards celebrated another extraordinary year of accomplishments.

“Congratulations to award winners and finalists for creating world-class visitor experiences and helping to make 2023 an extraordinary year for Queensland tourism,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Queensland’s place as the nation’s favourite holiday destination and record $33.2 billion visitor economy are a credit to the ingenuity and commitment of the State’s tourism operators.

“Our gold award winners are on track to put Queensland in an unbeatable position for national recognition at the Australian Tourism Awards in March.”

Select category winners will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which will be held in the Northern Territory on Friday 15 March 2024. Next year the Queensland Tourism Awards will be held at The Star in Brisbane.



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