Isaac’s premier culinary, cultural and nature-based event St Lawrence Wetlands Weekend has won gold at the 2021 Mackay Isaac Region Tourism Awards.
The iconic eco-festival, run by Isaac Regional Council, won gold in the festival and events category.
First Nations Peoples’ bush tucker walks and traditional dancing, popular television personality, Costa Georgiadis and Queensland’s food ambassador and professional chef, Matt Golinski, were the biggest drawcards, delighting the record crowd of more than 2,000 – a 65% rise from 2019.
Clermont Historical Centre took out silver in the best tourist attraction category and Nebo Bushman’s Carnival Inc which runs the Nebo Rodeo and other local events collected bronze in outstanding contribution by a volunteer group.
Kristen Stevenson of Nebo Hotel bagged a silver nod in the outstanding contribution by an individual.
Mayor Anne Baker said tourism was one of the region’s most valuable industries.
“It’s worth more than $180 million a year and it directly employs about 1000 people,” Mayor Baker said
“All these great local experiences would not happen without the pure people power behind the scenes.
“That’s what drives our resilience through floods, droughts and a pandemic.
“Congratulations to you all and we are so proud in growing our tourism industry and this is more evident as we stand together, resilient and strong, making our way through a pandemic, protecting our economies and lifestyles.”
Cr Jane Pickels, a Middlemount-based Mackay Isaac Tourism board member, said Council continued to work hard on several fronts to increase tourist visits and to make Queenslanders and interstate visitors aware of Isaac’s attractions.
“Our visitors are immersing themselves in each of the unique localities that make up our Isaac,” the Division 7 Councillor said.
“From mining communities, to some of the oldest towns in our state, and the picturesque villages that are dotted along our spectacular Isaac Coast.”
Mackay Isaac Tourism CEO, Tas Webber said the awards showcased the growth of the Isaac region’s tourism industry.
“We would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees for each award. We would also like to congratulate all of the tourism operators in the Isaac region for the incredible resilience they have shown,” Mr Webber said.
“These awards have shown the increasing demand and growth of the tourism experiences in the Isaac region, and we will continue to work with Council to ensure that visitors are able to explore the amazing experiences they have to offer.”
Mayor Baker said Council would continue its commitment to working with industry and government to support employment generating development which would enhance the sustainability and resilience of our regional communities.
“The inclusion of Isaac in the Mackay Isaac Tourism brand, which is a fantastic milestone, is one great part of the evolving Isaac story,” Mayor Baker said.
The St Lawrence Wetlands Weekend event was proudly brought to the region by Isaac Regional Council in partnership with the Koinjmal People from Koinmerburra Country and the community. It was supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland.
Save the June 22-24 date for the 2022 event, follow Council’s Facebook page for the latest information or call 1300 ISAACS (1300 47 22 27) on how to be part of the annual festival.