Three from three and into the Hall of Fame! The power of flowers reigns supreme at the Australian Tourism Awards!
Three from three and into the Hall of Fame!
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers crowned best major festival for the
third year in a row at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards
The power of petals dominated at last night’s Australian Tourism Awards with the iconic Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers taking out the Major Festivals or Events title for the third successive year, and in doing so, earning a place in the prestigious Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame!
Held at Cataract Gorge in Launceston, the national awards celebrate the very best of Australia’s tourism industry.
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers beat six of the very best festivals and events in the country including the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Victoria, Splendour in the Grass in NSW, WOMADelaide in South Australia, the famous Crab Fest in Western Australia, the Darwin Festival in the Northern Territory and the Hawthorne Football Club’s Home Games held in Tasmania.
In accepting the award on stage, portfolio chair for Toowoomba Region Cr Geoff McDonald said the title was a stunning achievement in the event’s 70th year.
“Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has become a true tourism force to be reckoned with, having won the Queensland Tourism Award for four years in a row, and now dominating the national category for three years running!” he said. “Wait until we celebrate 70 years at this year’s event, there’ll be even more joy to be had!”
Due to state and national award timings this year’s award was judged on the 2017 event – an outstanding event in the rich history of the event. Attendance was over 255,000 for the 10 days and records were reached in key visitation areas including welcoming 164 coach group visits and a whopping 90,000 overnight stays! These records were smashed in 2018 with more coaches visiting and 122,000 overnight stays achieved.
The coordination team also introduced many visitor experience improvements in 2017 to ensure it was easier to receive local knowledge and information through InfoHubs in the feature parks, extending the tours and shuttle programs and worked closely with local community groups in embracing the floral fever across all areas of the city.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio was thrilled with the prestigious win and paid tribute to the coordination team and volunteers.
“Without the incredible work done by the coordination team and our thousands of volunteers, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers simply would not happen each year. It takes over 2,000 volunteers to give their time and skills to the 10 days and months of preparation to ensure that events like the iconic Grand Central Floral Parade are a celebration of our culture and community.”
He paid special thanks to the key partners of the event – Tourism and Events Queensland, Grand Central, Heritage Bank, Qantas, Ergon Energy, Peter Roberts Honda, Southern Queensland Country Tourism and our media friends at The Chronicle, ABC Southern Queensland and Nine Queensland.
This year Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers will celebrate 70 floral-filled years, with the program being announced on 30 April and the event set for September 20 to 29.
“I invite everyone to experience what all the fuss is about - the 70th Carnival is going to be blooming amazing!” said Mayor Antonio.
Since its inception in 1949, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has flourished and is now an iconic Queensland event. The brainchild of Essex Tait and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, Carnival was introduced as a way for the city to use their “Garden City” reputation to promote increased economic activity following the hardships of war. On October 21, 1950 the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers commenced with a street procession that stretched three miles in length. Led by a bullock team and watched by a crowd estimated to be 50,000 strong, it was a resounding success. The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is the current title holder of Gold Award for Major Festival and Event at the annual Australian Tourism Awards.
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