GAPDL employees celebrate their dual Zonal Tourism Award win with Ben Southall and his girlfriend Bre Watkins.
GAPDL employees celebrate their dual Zonal Tourism Award win with Ben Southall and his girlfriend Bre Watkins. Miranda Cashin

Awards put spotlight on hard work

GLADSTONE region proved yet again what a winning region it is.

Three of the region's tourism operators won awards at Saturday night's 2009 Bundaberg, Gladstone and Capricorn Zonal Tourism Awards.

GAPDL were dual award winners taking out the award for Tour and Transport Operators Significant and Visitor and Information Services. GAPDL Tourism and Marketing Manager Cindy Bellini-Hogarth said she was thrilled with the dual win.

“We're absolutely thrilled to win yet again in both categories,” she said.

“For the Tour and Transport Award it's an absolute credit to the industries working with us to provide such great tours.

“It just goes to show that Gladstone is proving that industry and tourism can work together.”

Gecko Valley won the award for Best Overall Submission from the Gladstone region and were runners-up in three other categories.

Coleen Mccray, owner of Gecko Valley, said she loved entering the awards and was pleased to be rewarded for their hard work.

“We just love entering the tourism awards, it's a fantastic opportunity to showcase our product,” said Ms Mccray.

“It's fantastic to have a win and be runners-up in three other categories, it's just great.”

Special guest at the awards were Ben Southall, winner of The Best Job in the World, along with his girlfriend Bre Watkins.

Mr Southhall had spent the week leading up to the awards sampling first-hand the fantastic activities and tourism spots the Gladstone region had to offer.

“Bre just wants to stay here,” said Mr Southall.

“It's a beautiful spot and it's been the easiest place to settle into.

“Agnes felt just like home and the locals were so welcoming.

“It was great to sample something that was a bit off the beaten track.”

The tourism Award Winners

Major Tourist Attractions: Capricorn Caves

Significant Tourist Attractions: Champions Brock Experience

Significant Festivals and Events: Wide Bay Australia Bundy Thunder

Heritage and Culture Tourism: Horse and Carriage

Specialised Tourism Services:
Capricorn Tourism

Tour and Transport Operations Significant:
GAPDL

Visitor and Information Services: GAPDL

Backpacker Accommodation: Emu's Beach Resort

Standard Accommodation: Kelly's Beach Resort

Deluxe Accommodation:
Mantra Pavillions Mirage 1770

Luxury Accommodation:
Manta Bargara

New Tourism Development: Hinkler Hall of Aviation

Best Overall Submission:

Capricorn Region:
Capricorn Caves

Gladstone: Gecko Valley

Bundaberg Burnett Region: Kelly's Beach Resort

Gold Award for Three Consecutive Wins: The Horse and Carriage

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual: Lex Roland President of Hinkler House Bundaberg


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