2023 Expedia Group TNQ Tourism Industry Excellence Awards celebrate record year of achievements for industry

Queensland, Australia – December 11, 2014: A Qantas plane, above the rain forest hills and the Barron River, leaving Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, Australia. Qantas Airways is the third oldest airline in the world.
Edited by Travel Weekly


    The Tropical North Queensland tourism industry celebrated a year of record achievement at the 2023 Expedia Group TNQ Tourism Industry Excellence Awards at the Cairns Convention Centre on October 27.

    Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive officer Mark Olsen said the record number of 30 entries and a new award category highlighted the growing significance of the awards.

    “We celebrate a year of recovery with the tourism industry delivering a record $4.3 billion domestic visitor expenditure to our regional economy in the past financial year,” Olsen, said.

    “It is fitting that we further acknowledge the hard work of our members with the addition of the outstanding commitment to the industry award recognising businesses, groups or organisations who go above and beyond to contribute to the Tropical North Queensland tourism industry.

    “I congratulate each of the winners and Life Members who have helped the Tropical North Queensland tourism industry to excel.”

    New life members

    • Pip Woodward, founder of the CaPTA Group: Pip and her late husband Charlie Woodward pioneered rainforest tourism in Tropical North Queensland with the founding of Rainforestation Nature Park and expanded the family business over 50 years to become one of the largest tourism operators in the region. Pip is also well known for her philanthropic work through the charity COUCH founded by the Woodward family.
    • Ken Chapman, Chairman of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: As TTNQ’s immediate past Chair, Ken Chapman was instrumental in securing a record $10 million in Federal funding through the Recovery for Regional Tourism program for domestic marketing during the pandemic and $15 million under the International Tourism Recovery Program administered by Austrade. His family business Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is an iconic attraction that plays a key role in marketing Tropical North Queensland.

    Other award recipients 

    • Outstanding Commitment to the Industry – Cairns Airport Ambassadors
    • Outstanding Contribution by an Individual – AJ Hackett, Skypark by AJ Hackett
    • Chair’s Award for Excellence – Silky Oaks Lodge
    • Young Achiever Excellence Award – Jamie Binder, Marketing and Social Media Executive, Crystalbrook Collection
    • 1st finalist – Jasmyn Tureia, People & Culture Business Partner, Crystalbrook Bailey
    • 2nd finalist – Justin Baume, Guide, Cairns Adventure Group
    • Customer Service Excellence Award – Cedric Lootvoet, Luxury Concierge, The Reef House
    • 1st finalist – Cairns Airport Ambassadors
    • 2nd finalist – Phoebe Urquhart Kereru, Trip Director, Passions of Paradise
    • Sustainable Tourism Excellence Award – Small World Journeys
    • 1st finalist – Sheraton Grand Mirage Port Douglas
    • 2nd finalist – CaPTA Group
    • Best of Queensland Experiences Program Award – FNQ Nature Tours

    The awards are sponsored by the Expedia Group, Cairns Regional Council and our Corporate Partners Cairns Airport and Avis.

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