Eco-lodge hoping to win Gold in awards
CHILDERS Eco-lodge is set to join five Bundaberg region tourism operators in competing against the state's best tourism businesses.
This year's annual Queensland Tourism Awards will be hosted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.
The hostel is in the running for the Specialised Tourism Services category and is one of 156 entries in the Queensland Tourism Awards.
The 28-acre property offers a taste of the Australian countryside with native birdlife, farm animals, day trips and harvest work to visiting backpackers.
The purpose-built budget accommodation facility's management team are hoping to back up last year's Gold Award for New Tourism Development.
Childers Eco-lodge is run by husband and wife team Vanessa and Rhys Kummerow who hope entering the Queensland Tourism Awards will provide further exposure for their already booming business.
"Our core business is in the niche 'working hostel' sector, which provides accommodation and job placements for international backpackers seeking work on local farms to qualify for a second year International Working Holiday Visa," Mr Kummerow said.
Traditional hostels are notoriously devoid of tourism services, in building a new and unique working hostel product which offered travellers access to superior facilities, services and access to local tourism activities.
"We aim to give guests a true taste of the Australian bush and uncrowded beaches, whether they are in the area for a few days or a few months," he said.
Mr Kummerow said he recognised the long-term value and return in entering the industry's recognition program.
"The process of compiling and writing a submission, combined with the judges' site visit, are great for self-evaluation of the business," he said.
They aim to highlight the uniqueness and will hopefully be rewarded through the Queensland Tourism Awards program.
"If we were to be recognised as a leader in our industry and receive the endorsement of our peers, this would give guests a greater sense of confidence in their decision to visit the Childers region and stay at Childers Eco-lodge," he said.
QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind said this year has yet again attracted the region's proudest tourism operators, giving the industry good reason to be positive about the strength and future direction of Queensland's tourism industry.
"This year's Queensland Tourism Awards have once again proven to be a catalyst for drawing out and promoting excellence within Bundaberg's tourism industry, giving our judges a really tough task of deciding between our contenders in each category," Mr Gschwind said.
The common goal is ensuring Queensland maintains its reputation as Australia's premier tourist destination.
Tourism in Queensland contributes $23 billion in expenditure to the economy and employs 241,000 people.
Entrants in this year's Queensland Tourism Awards range from as far afield as northern Queensland near the Northern Territory border, through to offshore operations located on Queensland's coastal islands.
The 30 Queensland Tourism Awards categories will be announced on Friday, November 13, in Brisbane in front of an expected 900 guests at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Queensland's Gold Award winners will gain automatic entry into the Australian Tourism Awards to be announced in Melbourne on 5, February 2016.
For more information visit www.queensland tourism awards.com.au .