The Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort will be representing the Fraser Coast region as tourism businesses from across Queensland vie for state recognition in the 2012 Queensland Tourism Awards, proudly presented by Queensland Airports Limited (QAL). The Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort is hoping for a win in the The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism category when the Queensland Tourism Awards are announced in November. Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort Managing Director Peter Gash said that ecotourism has been a focus of the Resort since he took over in 2005. Our ecotourism initiatives, including the implementation of a solar power station that has reduced fuel burn on the Island by over 70% in the last four years, have been very successful, Mr Gash said. We decided to enter the Queensland Tourism Awards for the first time this year because we are passionate about inspiring other operators to embrace ecotourism and the benefits it has both on a business and environmental level. To win the Award would be to honour Steve Irwin’s legacy and to encourage other operators to be forward thinking and invest in ecotourism initiatives. Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the awards would mark the end of a year focused on recovery for the tourism industry. 2012 has been a year of recovery and rebuilding, following the natural disasters that impacted Queensland so severely in 2011, Mr Gschwind said. Local tourism operators have displayed amazing resilience and commitment, working through these tough times to rebuild their businesses and strengthen the tourism industry as a whole. The calibre of applicants for this year’s Queensland Tourism Awards is extremely high and together they represent the best that Queensland has to offer to the world. Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey congratulated entrants who had nominated for this year’s awards. The Queensland Tourism Awards once again have proved to be a catalyst for drawing out and promoting excellence within the tourism industry and giving judges a really tough task when making their final decisions. Everyone who has chosen to nominate from across our great state has exhibited a dedication and commitment to improve their business and level of service, and that is to be commended. The Newman Government has recognised tourism as one of the four pillars of our Queensland economy and is keen to work closely in partnership with the industry to make Queensland Australia’s number one tourism destination. I look forward to joining you on your night of nights at the Gala Awards Dinner in November and wish everyone the best of luck. The Queensland Tourism Awards 2012, proudly presented by Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), marks the 28th year of the largest and most highly regarded tourism awards in the state. The Awards cover the largest cross-section of tourism industries in Queensland, and are hosted by QTIC, in partnership with Tourism Queensland, on Friday 23 November at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. QTIC is the State’s peak body for tourism. The Council is a not-for-profit membership organisation representing members' interests - both large and small. QTIC has in excess of 3,000 regional members, operating in all sectors of the tourism industry.