GOLD-PLATED: Ipswich Visitor Information Centre co-ordinator Victoria Nugent shows the winning service as the centre wins the gold medal at last night’s Queensland Tourism Awards.
GOLD-PLATED: Ipswich Visitor Information Centre co-ordinator Victoria Nugent shows the winning service as the centre wins the gold medal at last night’s Queensland Tourism Awards. Rob Williams

Secret is out with tourism gold

THE Ipswich Visitor Information Centre has been inducted into the Hall of Fame after winning its third gold medal at the Queensland Tourism Awards last night.

Hosted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Ipswich City Council's Ipswich Visitor Information Centre won the gold medal for Visitor Information Services.

Queensland Rail's 150 years of rail program, which featured events at the birth of Queensland rail at Grandchester and the Workshops Rail Museum also won the Gold medal in Cultural Tourism.

Council's Tourism Committee chairman David Pahlke said the wins shone a light on the city's "undiscovered attractions" that had great appeal for the daytrips market.

"This is unheard of for Ipswich to be in the tourism spotlight," Cr Pahlke said.

"Usually you find it's places like Cairns, Noosa, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, that are often seen in the tourism awards.

"I think it says a lot for our staff and our volunteers that work rostered shifts at the Visitor Information Centre.

"This shows we have a lot of undiscovered things to see in Ipswich. When you start adding up, we've got a lot here. The Workshops, the Cobb & Co trail, we've got the Willowbank racing precinct, Robelle Domain with the brand new Orion Lagoon.

"We are only one or two hours' drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. People head out this way looking for something different. It is that boutique experience. It's not just the tried and true what you find on the tourism brochures.

Cr Pahlke said it was the passion of the VIC staff and volunteers that set it apart from other centres throughout the state.

"I am really proud of our staff and our volunteers, because they have just highlighted this fact. People will stop and say, 'hey, look at Ipswich - tourism'," he said.

"They believe in the product and the area and the city that they serve."

A total of 81 awards including 27 Gold, 25 Silver, 22 Bronze and two individual awards across 30 categories were presented at Brisbane's Convention and Exhibition Centre last night where 900 guests gathered to celebrate Queensland's tourism achievements.

QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind said the awards provided the opportunity to pay homage to hard working people and organisations who helped shape the industry.

"Tourism is in a growth phase with great opportunities to invest in Queensland's destinations and services," Mr Gschwind said.

"Today, the industry employs more than 241,000 Queenslanders and is the second largest export earner for the state thanks to the successful and innovative businesses who have been recognised (in the awards)."

A total of 156 nominations were received statewide.



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