Three Queensland tourism businesses have been recognised for their innovative and entrepreneurial ideas as part of the second annual Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Prize for Innovation in Tourism.
The QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism recognises micro* and small to medium* sized Queensland tourism enterprises for the development and adoption of innovative products, services and processes in Queensland.
Brisbane-based adventure tourism company Riverlife was awarded first prize for establishing P&O Edge, the world’s largest adventure park at sea in partnership with P&O Cruises, and developing new tourism products for cruise passengers visiting Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island.
Courtesy of the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Riverlife will receive $30,000 worth of business support and other prizes, including Stages 1 and 2 of the Velocis program delivered by the Australian Institute for Commercialisation.
Joint runner up and QTIC member Tourism Noosa was recognised for its “Welcome to Noosa” program, an online customer service and tourism education training course designed to raise service standards in the region.
Judges also awarded joint runner up prize to Fitzroy Island Turtle Education Centre, operated by QTIC member Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, was recognised for introducing interpretive tourism product to engage visitors and harness funding to support turtle rehabilitation and conservation research.
The announcement of the QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism coincides with the global observance of World Tourism Day on 27 September to highlight tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value. This year’s theme, Tourism and Community Development, focuses on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide skills to achieve change in local communities.
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind congratulated Riverlife, Tourism Noosa and Fitzroy Island Turtle Education Centre for their efforts to foster innovation within the tourism industry to support growth of the sector.
“The QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism is an opportunity for Queensland tourism businesses to be publicly acknowledged for their dedication to develop products, services or processes designed to drive the industry forward,” Mr Gschwind said.
“Tourism contributes $23 billion in expenditure to the Queensland economy and employs 241,000 people. The QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism reinforces the value of continually innovating in order to cultivate industry prosperity.”
Entrants in the 2014 QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism included Riverlife (1st Prize Winner), Tourism Noosa (Joint 2nd Prize Winner), Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (Joint 2nd Prize Winner), Australian Sunset Safaris, Mercure Cairns Harbourside, Noosa Festival of Surfing, Our Planet Travel, Qantas Founders Outback Museum, The Mouses House Rainforest Retreat, Whitsundays Flying Outrigger Canoe Tours and Zealifi.
Last year’s inaugural QTIC Prize for Innovation in Tourism was awarded to Longreach-based Kinnon & Co. for the company’s ‘Starlight’s Spectacular’ show, a tribute to the Legend of Captain Starlight (Harry Redford), a local cattle thief from the 1870s.
QTIC acknowledges the invaluable contribution from our program partners the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and Commonwealth Games (Queensland Government), EC3 Global and EarthCheck.
QTIC is the peak industry body for tourism in Queensland, acting as “The Voice of Tourism”. QTIC is a private sector, membership-based organisation representing the interests of the tourism and hospitality industry across Queensland.
* A micro business is defined as a small business with up to four (4) employees. A small to medium sized business is defined as a business with up to 199 employees. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)