Visitor Information Centre wins gold on way to national awards
The Hervey Bay Visitor Information Centre has received automatic entry into the competition to select the best visitor centre in Australia after winning gold at the Queensland Tourism Awards.
A key link in Fraser Coast Tourism & Events’ promotion of the region, the Hervey Bay VIC backed up gold and bronze awards in 2016 and 2017 with a gold in the 2018 Visitor and Information Services category announced at the Queensland awards in the Gold Coast on Friday night.
FCTE general manager Martin Simons applauded the efforts of all entrants from the region and wished the VIC team of staff and volunteers luck in the Australian Tourism Awards which would be announced on March 1 next year.
He said winning major State awards three years in succession, a bronze at the 2016 Australian Tourism Awards and the Queensland Information Centres Association Customer Service Award last month was a consistent performance and showed the high calibre of the centre’s leadership and people.
“The VIC has a proven, successful model based on conversations with tourists about their holiday dreams and sharing local knowledge with them,” Mr Simons said.
“It’s a very strong commercial model based on tour sales, including Fraser Island and whale watching, and mixes motivated staff with volunteers who are passionate about the region.
“The commission on tour sales is reinvested in the region and is helping us build a sustainable tourism promotion business.”
FCTE visitor services manager Andrew Ellis said the win was truly a team effort by the Hervey Bay VIC’s four staff and 31 volunteers and a tribute to their focus on providing excellent customer service.
“We don’t wait for people to ask, we’re actively greeting them at the door, sitting down with them and finding out what they want in line with our charter of selling the region and giving them reasons to stay longer,” he said.
“It’s not possible to do it with just staff, the volunteers make an incredible difference.”
Mr Ellis said this year staff and volunteers had the opportunity to complete the nationally recognised Certificate III in Tourism which demonstrated the organisation’s commitment to world’s best practice in customer service.
Mr Ellis said the VIC was also about to introduce new technology to screen video footage of the region’s best experiences.
“We’re hoping to get live footage from tour operators showing the region’s wonderful attractions,” he said.
Other operators recognised in the QTA were Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort which took home bronze in the Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism and the crew members at Tasman Venture who were highly commended in the Tour and Transport Operators category.
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