Congratulations to winners of 2015 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

5 February 2016

In celebration of a record breaking year for our tourism industry, I am pleased to congratulate the 26 winners who have been honoured at the industry's premier awards event, the Australian Tourism Awards.

Visitors flocked to Australia in record numbers in 2015 and without these industry award winners, Australia couldn't come close to being the highly desirable and memorable destination it is for visitors.

I'd like to thank all winners and finalists for their dedication to producing unforgettable tourism experiences set against what truly is the world's best backdrop--Australia.

Our industry is booming - we welcomed a record 1 million visitors from China this last year and spending also reached a new high of $34.8 billion, an increase of 13 per cent which is the strongest growth seen since 2001.

I acknowledge the valuable contribution these winners make in helping Australia meet its Tourism 2020 goal of surpassing $115 billion in overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.

We are on track to meet this goal with $88.8 billion in overnight visitor expenditure for the 2014-15 financial year.

Tourism Australia's new aquatic and coastal campaign, which was launched on Australia Day eve in New York, will further support the 2020 goal.

Natural experiences have always been an important part of selling Australia but in this campaign they are the main focus.

Australia's biggest competitive strength is its natural beauty and regional destinations feature prominently which is great news for our rural and regional communities.

I strongly encourage all tourism operators to get involved and work with Tourism Australia to make the most of this new campaign platform.

The Australian Tourism Awards celebrate excellence and the wonderful achievements of tourism operators across every state and territory in Australia.

The winners and finalists came from categories including major tourist attractions, festivals and events, business event tourism, destination marketing, caravan and holiday parks and luxury accommodation.

Further information about the Tourism 2020 strategy and our goals can be found here.

160205 Colbeck Media Release - 2015 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards
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