Helloworld CEO Andrew Burnes made the Queen’s list of honours this year, along with a handful of other icons of the Australian tourism industry.
Burnes was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) “for distinguished service to business, particularly through a range of travel industries, to professional tourism organisations, and to the community”.
Burnes founded the Australian Outback Travel company (the AOT Group) in 1987 and merged it with Helloworld in 2016 before he was appointed CEO of the company in the same year.
He has also served as a director of Tourism Australia from 2006 to 2009 and has been a board member for the Australian Tourism Export Council since 1998, acting as chairman from 1999 to 2003.
The CEO was in the spotlight last year after quitting his role as an honorary treasurer for the Liberal Party amid allegations he used his friendship with the Australian ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, to win a government contract.
Queensland businessman Patrick “Terry” Jackman, who was formerly chair of Tourism Queensland, was also named an Officer of the Order of Australia “for distinguished service to the community through support for educational and medical research organisations and to tourism and business”.
Among the other honourees was former chair of Tourism Western Australia Kate Lamont, who was named a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to the tourism and hospitality sectors in the state; and BIG4 Holiday Parks co-founder Desmond Watts, who received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).