Both Warwick and Stanthorpe have been announced as award finalists for 2021, which will see 37 cities and towns across the state contend against each other to receive recognition and promotion as Queensland’s Top Tourism Town as well as some major prizes. Public votes will now determine the winners from the pool of finalists.

The Top Tourism Town Awards, presented by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, 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?it?can be and who demonstrate a?strong commitment?and?encourage tourism and increased?visitation.

All entrants were asked to submit a short editorial about their town, a promotional video and a travel itinerary. These were judged by a panel of tourism experts who whittled the entrants down to a final pool. Winners will be awarded in two categories, firstly the Top Tourism Town Award – those with a population over 5000, which will receive a grand prize to the value of $25,000 and secondly the Small Tourism Town Award – those with a population below 5000, which will take home a $7500 prize.

Both Warwick and Stanthorpe are finalists in the Top Tourism Town Award – those with a population over 5000, up against 13 other localities including the likes of Noosa, Bowen, Yeppoon, Townsville and Ipswich City.

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said, “It is encouraging to see that the tourism industry in Southern Downs is rebounding at such a positive rate. “For two of our towns to be recognised as diverse and outstanding destinations in the Queensland tourism landscape is a major coup for the region. Tourists flock to Southern Downs not only to experience our incredible natural assets but also our warm country hospitality, vibrant cellar doors and world class tourism product that operators in the Southern Downs and Granite Belt have worked hard to create.

“For either Warwick or Stanthorpe to walk away with the honours of being crowned Queensland’s Top Tourism Town of the year would be another feather in our cap – proving once again that Southern Downs is a great place to live, work, play and stay,” he said.R

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