THE 2017 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards held in Perth’s new Optus Stadium on Fri 23 Feb saw the NT’s Kakadu National Park take out the Major Tourist Attraction prize on the night, beating out Sovereign Hill in Vic and The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney for the top gong.
Kakadu board member and Jawoyn traditional owner Maria Lee accepted the award on behalf of the Kakadu National Park.
“We’ve all worked very hard to offer more cultural experiences and events to benefit both the industry and community alike, with events such as A Taste of Kakadu introduced to showcase the culture, traditional foods and amazing landscape of our great National Park,” Lee said.
The Major Festivals and Events award for 2017 went to the Toowoomba Carnival Of Flowers, while the Qantas Award for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism honour was awarded to Sand Dune Adventures in NSW.
The Business Event Venue category saw the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre edge out Holmesglen at Eildon for the win, while major accommodation awards were split between the Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville, Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters, and Tasmania’s Saffire-Freycinet hotel for the standard, deluxe and luxury categories respectively.
Eighties icon Paul Hogan was also honoured during the evening, with “Hoges” formally recognised for his contribution to attracting North American visitors through his famous “I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie” Say G’day campaign.
Pictured receiving the award for best Major Tourist Attraction are Kakadu National Park traditional owners Bessie Coleman, Michael Bangalang and Maria Lee.