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Irwins named industry legends at Tasmania-hosted Australian Tourism Awards as Labor’s Albanese pledges Quality Tourism Framework funding

Irwins named industry legends at Tasmania-hosted Australian Tourism Awards as Labor’s Albanese pledges Quality Tourism Framework funding
March 2, 2019

A busy night at this year’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards has seen Terri, Robert and Bindi Irwin named ‘tourism legends’ for their service to the industry, receiving the receiving the Australian Tourism Legend award.

Held at the Cataract Gorge in Launceston last night in front of more than 800 industry representatives, the event continued its practice of ensuring the host state secured a significant number of awards.

However, the Award presentations were upstaged by Shadow Federal Minister for Tourism Anthony Albanese announcing that a future Labor Government would invest $6 million in the Quality Tourism Framework while a group of environmental protesters attempted to hijack the event with a large red banner reading ‘Keep Tasmania Wild’ unfurled underneath the Alexandra Suspension Bridge in the Gorge.

Among award recipients, the Port Arthur Historic Site won in the major tourist attractions and cultural tourism categories.

It caps off a stellar 2018 for the World Heritage-listed former convict site which had day-entry visitors increase to almost 370,000 last financial year, up 72% since 2013.

The other Tasmanian winner was MACq 01 Hotel in the deluxe accommodation category. The luxury waterfront hotel only opened in mid-2017, but has already won 12 tourism and hospitality awards.

Tasmanian tourism identity Robert Pennicott was also recognised, with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys receiving silver in the major tour and transport operators category.

Commenting on the event, Australian Tourism Awards Chairman Daniel Gschwind said to even reach the finalists stage was a great honour, advising “the winners from tonight’s event truly are the best of the best, with a lot of strong competition across all categories.

“Those that have taken home the trophy have been honoured for their hard work, innovation and commitment to quality which contributes to the ongoing success of our $55.3 billion tourism industry.”

Among the 800 guests at the gala dinner was Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman and former Richmond AFL star Matthew Richardson, who was MC.

Commenting on the environmental protest, abseiler Kenna Reid Clark advised “(this) demonstration is against the unprecedented wave of private developments threatening World Heritage Areas and national parks due to the Tasmanian Government’s shambolic expressions of interest process.”

Qantas Australian Tourism Awards winners

Major Tourist Attractions
Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania

Tourist Attractions
Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures, Western Australia

Major Festivals and Events
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Queensland

Festivals and Events
Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo, Queensland

The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism
Fun Over Fifty, Queensland

Cultural Tourism
Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism
Go Cultural Aboriginal Tours and Experiences, Western Australia

Specialised Tourism Services Proud Mary, South Australia
Visitor Information Services Swan Valley Visitor Centre, Western Australia

Business Event Venues 
Adelaide Hills Convention Centre, South Australia

Major Tour and Transport Operators 
Red Cat Adventures, Queensland

Tour and Transport Operators
Kimberley Quest, Western Australia

Adventure Tourism 
Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures, Western Australia

Destination Marketing,
Pie Time - Southern Highlands, NSW & ACT

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services
Cicada Lodge Restaurant at Nitmiluk Gorge, Northern Territory

Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries
 Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience, Queensland

Caravan and Holiday Parks
BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort, Queensland

Hosted Accommodation
The Beach House at Bayside, Western Australia

Unique Accommodation
Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures - The Horizontal Hotel, Western Australia

Self Contained Accommodation
The Frames Luxury Accommodation, South Australia

Standard Accommodation
Cave Hill Creek, Victoria

Deluxe Accommodation 
MACq 01 Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania (pictured)

Luxury Accommodation 
Cicada Lodge at Nitmiluk Gorge, Northern Territory

New Tourism Business
St Andrews Beach Brewery, Victoria

Excellence in Food Tourism
Two Feet & a Heartbeat, Western Australia

Australian Tourism Legend
The Irwin Family 

Click here for more information.

Images: Terri, Robert and Bindi Irwin named ‘tourism legends’ at last night’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards (top); the protesters’ banner hangs from the Alexandra Suspension Bridge in the Gorge (middle) and guests arrive for the event (below, courtesy of Anthony Albanese MP).

Related Articles

27th February 2019 - Developer plans appeal after Council knocks back plans for camp in Tasmanian World Heritage Area

22nd January 2019 - Australia’s cultural attractions combine to launch new Global Tourism Initiative

27th April 2018 - Steve Irwin immortalised on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

24th February 2018 - Tourism’s high achievers recognised at 2017 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

30th July 2017 - New aquatic play park part of the revival of the Whitsundays

25th February 2017 - Sovereign Hill the top attraction, Harvey Lister named industry legend at Australian Tourism Awards

11th February 2017 - Animal rights protesters disrupt Sea World dolphin show

26th December 2016 - BIG4 Holiday Parks gain tourism accolades across Australia

3rd September 2016 - 10 years on Steve Irwin’s wildlife conservation legacy lives on

12th April 2016 - Port Arthur Historic Site to get Federal funds for tourism centre development

1st April 2016 - Victorian Government allows new cruising venture at Wilsons Promontory

6th February 2016 - Qantas Australian Tourism Awards recognise industry excellence

11th April 2015 - Tasmania dominates Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

21st October 2013 - ATEC welcomes Anthony Albanese’s shadow tourism role

6th June 2010 - Terri Irwin celebrates Wenlock River’s ‘Wild River’ declaration

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