Jun­gle Surf­ing rides wave

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Far North’s world-class tourism cre­den­tials have been recog­nised, with lo­cal op­er­a­tors scoop­ing up 23 gongs at the Queens­land Tourism Awards.

The re­gion was the high­estawarded in the state, tak­ing home nine gold, six sil­ver, and eight bronze at the awards gala in Bris­bane a huge im­prove­ment from last year, when the Far North claimed two prizes in 31 cat­e­gories.

The night, hosted by the Queens­land Tourism In­dus­try Coun­cil, was a celebration of the state’s $22 bil­lion tourism in­dus­try.

Cape Tribu­la­tion’s Jun­gle Surf­ing Canopy Tours was a stand­out on the night, pick­ing up gold in the tourist at­trac­tion and ad­ven­ture tourism cat­e­gories.

The Daintree Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre was another strong per­former, win­ning the Steve Ir­win Award for Eco­tourism and the Qan­tas Award for Ex­cel­lence in Sus­tain­able Tourism.

Cairns was also recog­nised for its ac­com­mo­da­tion, with Cairns Co­conut Hol­i­day Re­sort named the best tourist and car­a­van park, while Cairns Cen­tre YHA won the ‘‘back­packer ac­com­mo­da­tion’’ cat­e­gory.

The Quick­sil­ver Group was judged the best ma­jor tour and/ or trans­port op­er­a­tors, while the Cairns Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, and Gate­way Me­dia Group also picked up awards.

Far North­ern op­er­a­tors also cleaned up the sil­ver awards, with Cairns Am­a­teurs Car­ni­val, Moss­man Gorge Cen­tre, Cairns Zoo and Pull­man Reef Ho­tel Casino all win­ning sec­ond place in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories.

Tourism Trop­i­cal North Queens­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Rob Gi­a­son said the re­gion’s strong show­ing re­flected its resur­gence as a desti­na­tion.

The lat­est sta­tis­tics show the Far North has en­joyed a 16 per cent rise in in­ter­na­tional visi­tors for the year end­ing June 2013, while do­mes­tic hol­i­day visi­tors are also up 11 per cent. ‘‘We also are for­tu­nate to have tourism op­er­a­tors with ex­cep­tion­ally high stan­dards of ser­vice de­liv­ery as well as the dis­tinct i on of i nno­va­tive t our op­tions,’’ Mr Gi­a­son said.

‘‘Trop­i­cal North Queens­land boasts more than 100 ways to ex­pe­ri­ence the Great Bar­rier Reef and has more than 600 tours de­part­ing daily to the Reef, rain­for­est and other at­trac­tions."

QTIC chief ex­ec­u­tive Daniel Gschwind praised the 12 per cent in­crease in nom­i­na­tions for this year’s awards. ‘‘Queens­land’s tourism in­dus­try is strong and the out­look on growth is pos­i­tive,’’ he said.

In its 29th year, the awards are judged by a panel of in­dus­try ex­perts who vol­un­teer their time to sift through writ­ten sub­mis­sions and travel across the state ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the nom­i­nated busi­nesses.

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