Bundaberg Rum’s Duncan Littler with Mayor Jack Dempsey and Councillor Steve Cooper.

Bundaberg Rum Distillery has been awarded gold in the 2023 Queensland Tourism Awards, as well as receiving the honour of being admitted into the Queensland Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.

Bundaberg Rum’s win was in the Tourist Attractions category, awarded for their Distillery Visitor Experience.

At the same awards ceremony Lady Musgrave HQ Pontoon was also awarded silver in the Unique Accommodation category for the second year in a row.

Bundaberg Rum Marketing and Experience Manager Duncan Littler said this was an exciting win for the company.

“To win any award at the Queensland tourism awards is [a] massive achievement, but to do it three years in a row is obviously something we’re really, really proud of and that does put us into the Queensland Tourism Awards Hall of Fame,” he said.

“What this win also … does is it sends us to the nationals.

“So now in March we’re off to Darwin where we’ll be competing with all the states for the accolade of Australia’s best tourism attraction, which is actually an award we won last year.”

This is the second time the business has received Hall of Fame glory after the Bundaberg Rum Distillery Experience was inducted into the Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame in 2022, winning top honours three years in row in the Australian Tourism Awards, Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category.

Duncan said Bundaberg Rum was also pleasantly surprised with an award from local not-for-profit organisation Access Recreation as part of Disability Access week.

“We were really proud that we were actually crowned Bundaberg’s most accessible and inclusive tourism attraction,” he said.

“Two massive wins for us in the in the space of a few days, two awards that we are equally as proud.”

After another ground-breaking year for Queensland tourism operators, the impressive wins for Bundaberg came as tourism expenditure reached an all-time high in the region.

Tourism Research Australia data revealed that in the last financial year, Bundaberg saw a 20.5% increase in overnight visitor expenditure while receiving 2.3 million visitors, a 12 per cent increase on the previous financial year.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s Chief Executive Officer Brett Fraser said the awards recognised the region’s clear sense of passion and commitment to delivering extraordinary visitor experiences for all.

“Congratulations to the Bundaberg Region for its wonderful results in the Queensland Tourism Awards this year,” Brett said.

“These wins just go to show how important Bundaberg is to the tourism industry and the region should be proud they are being recognised for these amazing contributions.

“Bundaberg has much on offer – from gorgeous beaches to the native wildlife and exciting nightlife – there is truly something for everyone.”

Mayor Jack Dempsey couldn’t agree more and congratulated the local award winners.

“It is with great privilege and pride as a community we say thank you to Bundaberg Rum and the Visitor Experience for investing in our community and being able to showcase the best of our region to the world,” Mayor Dempsey said.

The workers and businesses behind these sky-rocketing statistics gathered at the Cairns Exhibition Centre on 24 November for a night of tropical glamour and recognition for all their hard work in the Queensland tourism industry for the past year.

There were 31 award categories ranging from attractions, events, tour and transport operators, accommodation, restaurants, culture and marketing, with 78 operators receiving awards.

Select category winners will gain automatic entry into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which will be held in the Northern Territory on Friday 15 March 2024.