Volunteers at the Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre could see all their hard work pay off at this year’s state tourism awards.
Volunteers at the Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre could see all their hard work pay off at this year’s state tourism awards. Alistair Brightman

Tourism hits spotlight on gala

FOR SOME it looks like a David and Goliath battle – regional tourism operators up against the big guns.

But Damien Massingham has no questions whatsoever about the worth of businesses putting up their hands and vying for top honours in this year’s Queensland Tourism Awards.

Staff from five Fraser Coast tourism operators will be anxiously counting down to tonight where they will attend the awards ceremony on the Gold Coast.

Those operators are Peppers Pier Resort, Fraser Explorer Tours, Aussie Trax 4x4 Rentals, Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism and the Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Mr Massingham, FCSBT general manager, said the Fraser Coast had always featured a lot in the awards and this year there were some strong nominees.

“We’re up against some very big marketing budgets,” he said of the FCSBT being in the tourism marketing category. “But you know you’ve got to put your hat into the ring.

“It’s a bit of David and Goliath but we’re giving it a go.”

Mr Massingham believes the awards were also about analysing operations: “Just going through that process is a major feat and operators should be commended. It’s fantastic that we do have pro-active operators in the region that are willing to go that extra mile and put their submissions in.”

There are 161 enterprises entered in the competition, three more than last year.

Minister for Tourism Peter Lawlor said 848,000 domestic overnight visitors to the Fraser Coast spent $493 million in the year to June. An extra 197,000 overseas visitors also spent time in the region.

TOP FRASER COAST OPERATORS

Fraser Explorer Tours – major tour and/or transport operator

Aussie Trax 4x4 Rentals – adventure tourism

Peppers Pier Resort Hervey Bay – meetings and business tourism plus deluxe accommodation

Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism – tourism marketing

Fraser Coast Regional Council – visitor information services



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