Childers Eco-lodge is in the running for the Specialised Tourism Services category in the upcoming Queensland Tourism Awards. Photo Contributed
Childers Eco-lodge is in the running for the Specialised Tourism Services category in the upcoming Queensland Tourism Awards. Photo Contributed Contributed

Tourism Awards attract state's top

CHILDERS Eco-lodge will join five other Bundaberg region tourism operators in competing against the state's best tourism businesses at this year's annual Queensland Tourism Awards. The hostel is in the running for the Specialised Tourism Services category and is one of 156 entries in the Queensland Tourism Awards, presented by Queensland Airports Limited in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland.

After opening in October 2013, 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 would 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, however, we saw huge potential in building a new and unique working hostel product which offered travellers access to superior facilities, services and access to local tourism activities.

"For example, we actively promote attractions such as Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo and Flying High Bird Sanctuary.

"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."

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.

QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind said this year has yet again attracted the Bundaberg region's proudest tourism operators, giving the industry good reason to be positive about the strength and future direction of Queensland's tourism industry.

Gold, Silver and Bronze winners from the 30 Queensland Tourism Awards categories will be announced on November 13 in Brisbane.

Queensland's Gold Award winners will gain automatic entry into the Australian Tourism Awards to be announced in Melbourne on February 5.

The Queensland Tourism Awards are hosted by Queensland Tourism Industry Council and presented in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland and the Queensland Government.



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