FIRST Hervey Bay's Visitor Information Centre was named best in the state - now it has been named one of the best across the nation.

The Qantas Australia Tourism Awards were held on Friday night in Darwin.

The team won the Gold Award at the Queensland Tourism Awards last year, beating out regional competitors in the highly contested Visitor Information Services category.

Their success continued when they claimed the Bronze Award for visitor centres across the nation.

"To win at this level is a massive achievement for the Fraser Coast," Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons said.

"FCTE marketing and communications manager Brad Nardi was in Darwin to accept the award on behalf of Fraser Coast VIC manager Andrew Ellis and his team.

"The significance of a top three award and the excellence of the competition cannot be understated.

"The best in any category has to compete against 800 other tourism businesses from every Australian state and territory, and to get a seat at the national winner's table each organisation had to first be judged best in its class at state level.

"It is the first time the Fraser Coast has won a national award in the competition that has been running for more than 30 years showcasing excellence across the tourism industry in 25 categories."

Mr Ellis, who manages the centre, said the win was very satisfying.

"We're very proud of the Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre to not only get the Queensland Gold Award for visitor information services, but the Bronze Award for all of Australia at the recent Australian Tourism Awards.

"We feel that it's a result of listening very hard to our customers, which are of course our visitors to the area, as well as local business in trying to make this centre something that relevant to all of those people and trying to stay on top of that ever-changing relevance."

Mr Simons said the Visitor Information Services award is judged on tourism excellence, business planning, marketing, customer service and sustainability.

"Congratulations to every member of the team and especially Andrew Ellis who did the legwork in writing an excellent submission to meet the selection criteria," he said.

"This is a terrific achievement and due recognition for the work and commitment of each of you."
 



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