Volunteers shine at Queensland Tourism Awards

Published 5:00pm 27 November 2023

Volunteers shine at Queensland Tourism Awards
Words by Kylie Knight

Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism’s volunteer program has won the top gong for Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group at the 38th Queensland Tourism Awards.

The awards were held at the Cairns Convention Centre on Friday night as part of Tourism Week celebrations, which included industry conferences Destination IQ and DestinationQ.

A record number of entries vied for the state’s top tourism awards this year with 184 final submissions – an increase of 25 percent on last year.

The Queensland Tourism Awards have been operating for 38 years with 31 categories ranging from attractions, events, tour and transport, accommodation, restaurants to culture and marketing.

The Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group award celebrates the strong, ongoing personal commitment made by an individual or team of volunteers who give their time and skill, contributing to the professionalism of the industry and the positive image of tourism in Queensland.

The success follows Redcliffe Visitor Information Centre’s win earlier this year at the Queensland Information Centre Association Awards (QICA). It was the third win in a row, which resulted in the centre’s induction into the QICA Hall of Fame.

Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT) CEO Natassia Wheeler is proud of the volunteer team and grateful for the recognition.

"This Gold award is a testament to the incredible efforts of our hard-working and dedicated 300 plus volunteers who personify the essence of our region,” she says.

“Their commitment to excellence and passion for showcasing the beauty and charm of Moreton Bay through our visitor centres and destination events is truly commendable.

"With 4.6 million day visitors per annum, our volunteers are the face of our region, offering a warm welcome, sharing their local expertise, and creating memorable experiences for visitors.

“This award is a celebration of their unwavering dedication and the pivotal role they play in promoting our region as a premier tourism destination."

There are about 245 event and tourism volunteers who are part of the program, but this can surge to 400 in peak event season.

It is a fun program where volunteers can tell people where to go … in the nicest possible way.

From sampling tourism experiences so they can tell visitors about them to rubbing shoulders with celebrity chefs while helping at the events, the volunteer role can be quite diverse.

Their biggest satisfaction comes from having visitors come back to thank them for the wonderful day they’ve had after following their recommendations.

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