Annabel Bowles

Tropic Now journalist

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Four Far North Queensland destinations up for 'best tourism town' awards

Four Far North towns have been named finalists in a state tourism awards and are in the draw to win tourism consultancy packages valued up to $25,000.

Kuranda, Yungaburra and Georgetown are among 22 towns listed in the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Small Top Tourism Towns awards, while Mareeba is a finalist in the division for large towns.  

The winning towns will be decided through an open poll, with voters also in the running to score a $2000 travel package.

The Top Tourism Town Award winner (population over 5,000) will receive a $25,000 Strategic Consulting and Capacity Building Package provided by EarthCheck, while the winner of the division for smaller towns will be awarded a $7,500 Tourism Consultancy and Development Package provided by The Tourism Group. 

Liz Tonkin, a member of the volunteer-run Kuranda Traders Association, said winning the award would be a “massive leg up” for the small town.

“It’s great news … along with some really busy days over the school holidays,” she said.

“Our Easter Rocks event was massive – it went into the night, which is unusual for Kuranda.

“There was a groundswell of support from the local community, everyone wants it more often now.

“These awards will help show the rest of Australia the magical place that is Kuranda.”

Ms Tonkin said the association has been working hard to promote the village as a tourist destination.

“It’s a bit of a challenge for a small town like ours, as well as for a volunteer-run organisation," she said. 

“Our community certainly would love some help and that kind of funding would be beneficial to us all.”

QTIC Chief Executive, Daniel Gschwind, said the Awards showcase the great and diverse destinations across Queensland.

“With the current focus on domestic tourism, now is the time to draw attention to our regional destinations and to put the spotlight on our tourism operators and communities who keep our regions thriving,” he said.

“We have towns from as far north as Mareeba, to the coast of Rainbow Beach and out West to Longreach which shows the amazingly diverse tourism landscape we have right here in our backyard.

“It is now up to the public to tell us who they think should be crowned the Top Tourism Town of Queensland which is a challenging task with so many worthy contenders.

“We call on everybody to cast their vote and show their support for our domestic tourism industry which plays such an important role in communities throughout the state.

“It’s been a tough COVID-year, now it is time to celebrate the impressive travel opportunities we have in Queensland.”

The public is now invited to cast their vote on their favourite tourism destination and go in the running to win a $2,000 Apollo Motorhome travel package.

You can vote for your favourite tourism town here.