Australia’s most prestigious tourism awards to be held in Darwin

Adam Giles

The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards (QATAs), a premier event for the nation’s tourism industry, will be held in Darwin for the first time next year.

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More than 800 people are expected to attend the annual Awards including sponsors, industry partners and state/territory tourism award winners.

The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards will be held on 24 February 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.

Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Adam Giles made the announcement in Darwin today joined by organisers of the Awards, the Australian Tourism Industry Council and Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan.

“This is very exciting news for the Territory and members of our tourism industry who now have a chance to shine on the national stage right here in our own backyard,” he said.

“The national awards will also be an opportunity for us to show off some of our world class facilities and unique tourism attractions and experiences that can only be found in the Top End.

“The gala event will also provide a significant boost for our tourism operators and hospitality industry over our low tourism season with more than 800 people, mainly from interstate, expected to attend.

“The projected expenditure by these visitors is estimated to be worth around $500,000 to our economy.

“I strongly encourage all our fantastic tourism operators to take the time to enter this year’s Northern Territory Brolga Tourism Awards, the precursor to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

“This year we picked up eight medals which was a fantastic result for the Northern Territory, so having the national awards on home turf in 2017, we’ll be gunning for a swag of Gold medals.”

Chair of the Australian Tourism Awards, Daniel Gschwind, said the QATAs will feature 25 categories with the winners of each State/Territory Awards competing for Gold, Silver and Bronze recognition at the national level.

“This is our industry’s marquee event of the year and attracts wide media coverage so it is always an exciting time for the host city,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to taking the event to the Northern Territory for the second time and first time in Darwin after Alice Springs hosted the Awards in 2004.”

Today’s announcement comes as Tourism Australia chiefs descended in Darwin for a special board meeting and industry briefing with local operators.

The half day industry briefing provides an overview of Tourism Australia’s activity, latest market insights, business events activity and partnership opportunities.

“It’s great to be back in the Northern Territory and speaking to local tourism operators here about some of the initiatives helping to promote the NT on a global scale,” said Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan.

“There’s a lot happening in the Territory; today’s announcement of next year’s national awards in Darwin is great news.

“We’ve just had Chris Hemsworth and his family visit the Red Centre as part of his ambassadorial role with Tourism Australia, we’ve seen huge international interest in Kakadu following the 30th anniversary of Crocodile Dundee and of course our current aquatic and coastal campaign not only promotes the spectacular Nitmiluk National Park but also provides an exciting platform for local tourism operators with the Northern Territory Government’s Million Dollar Fish campaign.

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