Australia’s Tourism Industry Reunites to Celebrate Excellence


Last night at the Novotel Sunshine Coast Convention Centre in QLD, Australia’s tourism industry reunited to celebrate tourism business excellence at the 2021 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.  

Overall there were 75 awards presented across 25 categories. 

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said it was an exciting night for tourism operators that showcased how important the national tourism industry was for the economy. 

“Hosting the Awards gave us the means to showcase our very own distinct Sunshine Coast tourism experiences to industry peers from across the nation, and notably, our welcoming spirit,” Mayor Jamieson said.  

“Montville’s Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat taking gold for Hosted Accommodation is wonderful acknowledgement of a tourism operator’s ambition to provide outstanding service and encourage visitation to our beautiful Sunshine Coast.” 

This is the second golden accolade for the Retreat, off the back of their state win at the 2021 Queensland Tourism Industry Council Awards.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated the latest Awards recipients. 

“The Australian Tourism Awards is a celebration of adaptability and creativity across the tourism industry, and we’re proud to have welcomed so many industry leaders and innovators to Queensland’s spectacular Sunshine Coast for the Awards this year,” Premier Palaszczuk said. 

“It’s been a joy to celebrate a sector that has shown determination and innovation in the face of a global pandemic. 

“Pre-pandemic, Queensland’s tourism industry alone was worth around $28 billion and employed more than 234,000. I’m grateful to all the recipients and nominees who have, and who will continue to contribute to our economic recovery from the pandemic and beyond.” 

Qantas Group Chief Customer Office Stephanie Tully said: “As the national carrier, we’re delighted to be celebrating and championing the best of the industry after a particularly tough two years for Australian tourism. 

 “We’ve seen travel demand rebound strongly this year and we’re really excited to help travellers from home and abroad rediscover this amazing country and support Australian tourism operators to get back to doing what they do best.” 

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Awards recognised the Australian tourism industry’s commitment to recovery. 

“It is a great honour to welcome Australia’s visitor industry to the Sunshine Coast for the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards,” Mr Hinchliffe said.  

“Over the last two years, resilient tourism operators have sought and found opportunities to build back better. 

“The Australian Tourism Awards highlight the initiative of operators striving for recovery and excellence in the delivery of outstanding visitor experiences. 

“As we rebuild inbound international tourism, these awards are a great opportunity to show the world and the nation the best of Australian tourism.”    

The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which were also proudly supported by the Queensland Government, were a celebration of the industry’s resilience and strength, during the incredible challenges the industry has faced over the past two years.  

Daniel Gschwind, Chair of the Australian Tourism Awards said that it is testament to the commitment of Australian tourism operators who continue to deliver excellent experiences with sheer passion and commitment throughout the challenges.  

“The businesses that are here tonight have led the way in reimagining their products so they can continue to provide quality visitor experiences throughout the pandemic. With our open borders and international tourism resuming, tonight is a timely reminder of the vast range of exceptional tourism products and services available and to focus on a strong tourism future for Australia” said Mr Gschwind.   

The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards celebrates innovation and exceptional standards in tourism; and is made possible through the generosity of sponsors, in particular Qantas, Tourism Australia, the Queensland Government, Novotel Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Council, Visit Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Airport.   

Image: Ali and Xochi, Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat with Matt Stoeckel, CEO Visit Sunshine Coast
Image Credit: Australian Tourism Awards