Ipswich wins three tourism awards
IPSWICH'S Workshops Rail Museum and Visitor Information Centre have won three of the state's top tourism awards.
The Workshops was awarded the Heritage and Cultural Tourism and the Tourist Attractions awards, while the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre picked up the award for Visitor Information and Services.
The honours were announced at the annual Queensland Tourism Awards at the Brisbane Convention Centre on November 4.
Arts Minister and State Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan said the awards recognised the Workshops' outstanding contribution not only to Queensland arts and culture, but to the Ipswich economy.
"The Workshops play a big role in preserving our rich rail heritage and sharing it with visitors from far and wide," Ms Nolan said.
Director Andrew Moritz said it was a privilege to claim the prizes.
"It's always wonderful to be recognised by your peers for the effort your team makes day in day out and these wins confirm that we're on the right track," Mr Moritz said.
The prestigious annual awards ceremony, organised by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, celebrates and recognises the outstanding business practices and contributions operators make to the state's tourism industry.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the city was always punching above its weight at the awards when it was up against tourist meccas like the Gold and Sunshine Coast.
"After what we have been through this year with the floods, winning three prestigious tourism awards is the morale boost the whole city needs," Cr Pisasale said.
"We are not the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast or Cairns.
"What we are is a proud city with a tremendous rail heritage and a vast number of natural and man-made attractions to offer visitors to the region."
Cr Pisasale said the council-funded information centre played a vital role in welcoming tourists to the region, with volunteer staff working seven days a week to help enhance the city's reputation.
"It is one of the reasons Ipswich is a city with such a warm heart and soul," he said.
The Workshops Rail Museum will now go up against other states and territories in the same categories for the Australian Tourism Awards to be announced on March 2012.