WHITSUNDAY tourism operators are being encouraged to put Cyclone Debbie well behind them and nominate for the Queensland Tourism Awards.
Hosted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, las year's awards saw close to 200 top Queensland tourism businesses from Cape York to Coolangatta entering.
And for owners of Ocean Rafting, Jan and Peter Claxton, there's nothing but golden memories of the event.
This Whitsunday husband and wife team took out Gold at not only the Queensland Tourism Awards, but the Australian Tourism Awards in Darwin.
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the 33rd annual Queensland Tourism Awards would be better than ever.
"The Queensland Tourism Awards aim to honour the hard work and innovation of operators contributing to a strong tourism industry in Queensland," he said.
"Whitsundays tourism operators continue to make a huge contribution to the industry in the state, and it was fantastic to see Ocean Rafting and Cruise Whitsundays recognised for the Major Tour and Transport category at last year's Queensland awards."
Last year, 17 Whitsunday tourism operators attended the state awards and 12 went home with gold, silver and bronze.
"We're really looking forward to seeing more entrants from the Whitsundays showcase their strength and ongoing contribution to the region's reputation as a global holiday destination in 2017," Mr Gschwind said.
There are 28 categories to be entered this year which recognise business achievements, specific events and individuals and the diverse and dynamic range of tourism operators.
And this year, there's two new aspects to the awards - a new streamlined online submission process and the introduction of the RACQ People's Choice Award.
Entants from categories 1-13 and 15-25 will gain automatic eligibility into the RACQ People's Choice Award. The public will then have the opportunity to cast their vote once submissions are finalised in late August.
Queensland's Gold Award winners from categories 1-25 will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Perth in February 2018.
Winners of the 28 Queensland Tourism Award categories and the RACQ People's Choice Award will be announced on Friday, November 10 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
For assistance in entering visit www.queenslandtourismawards.com.au/support-for-entrants.
For more information visit www.queenslandtourismawards.com.au.
Nominations close at 5pm on Thursday, June 1.
Categories for the 2017 awards
Major Tourist Attractions
Major Festivals and Events
Festivals and Events
The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism
Qantas Award for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism
Specialised Tourism Services
Visitor Information Services
Business Event Venues
Major Tour and Transport Operators
Tour and Transport Operators
The Richard Power Award for Destination Marketing
Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services
Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries
Caravan and Holiday Parks
Self Contained Accommodation
New Tourism Business
Excellence in Food Tourism
Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group
Young Achiever Award
The Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
RACQ People's Choice Award NEW in 2017 (Experiences and services)
RACQ People's Choice Award NEW in 2017 (Accommodation)
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