The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is presenting a new tourism program in 2021 to recognise Queensland’s diverse and outstanding regional destinations.

QTIC’s Top Tourism Town Awards aim to recognise and reward towns that offer an amazing visitor experience, where tourism operators, businesses, and the local community work together to make their town the best destination. There will be two awards in this program: Top Tourism Town Award (those with a population of more than 5000) and Small Tourism Town Award (those with a population below 5000).

“The program is being introduced in each state and territory as a new initiative this year, in parallel with but separate from the Australian Tourism Awards series,” said QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind. “Our towns support local businesses and local jobs and keep our regional communities?thriving. The Awards will provide an opportunity for us to showcase these towns as great visitor destinations in Queensland. With the COVID situation, this is actually a great time to draw attention to regional destinations and showcase our local communities to an Australian audience.”

Nominations are being accepted through accredited Visitor Information Centres from 19 January, with submission due 30 March. Wayne Clift from The Tourism Group said, “We encourage tourism operators and locals to unite and take the opportunity to showcase what you’re most proud of, work with your accredited Visitor Information Centre to share the passion for your town and show Queensland and indeed the Nation what a Top Tourism Town looks like.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Awards judges had an enviable task ahead of them. “With so many great tourist towns in Queensland, the judges will face some difficult choices,” Mr Hinchliffe said. “This is an excellent way of celebrating the resilience and effort that Queenslanders put into making their town a favourite destination. After a tough year with COVID, this initiative will help support jobs and showcase what makes Queensland great.”

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