8th October 2015 Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre cleans up at QICA Awards.
The Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre has been crowned the 2015 Queensland Visitor Information Centre of the Year.
Seventy delegates from across the state descended on Caloundra for the 2015 Queensland Information Centre Association (QICA) Conference and Awards on 5th-7th October.
The conference covered industry-wide topics such as volunteer management, designing interactive displays, online marketing and face-to-face engagement.
Tourism and Events Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Leanne Coddington, provided industry-wide data and an insight into trends and direction.
The 'magical' themed Gala Awards Dinner held at Oaks Caloundra was a ritzy night of dinner and dancing. In an unprecedented fashion, the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre won five categories and were runners up in two categories to be crowned the 2015 Overall Winner of the QICA VIC of the Year Awards, sponsored by Sunshine Coast Destination Limited.
McKinlay Shire Council Mayor, Belinda Murphy, attributes the bevy of accolades to the Shire's commitment to tourism excellence and willingness to take risks to try new things.
"The collective efforts of staff and Council to provide our guests with unique and authentic experiences have culminated to us receiving this recognition from our peers," Mayor Murphy said.
"This year, we have innovated how we connect with our guests. We have hosted long-table lunches with primary producers, town tours, morning teas and camp fire dinners. All of these experiences connect guests with locals. They find out pretty quickly what makes the outback so special. Our guests leave feeling like they have made new friends," she added.
As a result, throughout 2015 the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre has observed record tourist numbers - up more than 30% than 2014 figures.
"We can also deduce through visitor surveys that we have increased the wider economic impact of our actions ensuring that tourism is a viable industry for our local business operators and our entire region," Mayor Murphy said.
Mayor Murphy indicated that McKinlay Shire Council will build on this momentum in 2016.
"Whilst we may implement innovations and continue to grow, we will never deviate from our core promise of providing friendly, insightful and reliable face-to-face visitor service," she said.