Silver award shines brightly

Following on the heels of big wins at the Cairns Wine Show in June local Granite Belt winery Ridgemill Estate took home silver in the ‘Deluxe Accommodation’ category at the Queensland Tourism Awards.

For the past 35 years the Queensland Tourism Awards have been honouring outstanding achievements in the State’s tourism industry. This year, Ridgemill Estate was one of just three businesses in the Southern Queensland Country region to receive one of these highly coveted awards, alongside Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and Ravensbourne Escape.

Peter Homan, CEO of Southern Queensland Country Tourism, said Ridgemill Estate “is precisely the kind of high-quality tourism operator that we are proud to have here in Southern Queensland Country”.

“With both award-winning wines and luxurious accommodation on offer, a visit to Ridgemill Estate will give you a very good taste of the life that Southern Queensland Country has to offer,” Peter said.

Ridgemill Estate owner Martin Cooper said “a win for Ridgemill Estate is a win for the local community”.

“While we are so proud of our business and staff, and excited to see it grow in the future, wins for local businesses bring attention and growth to the Granite Belt a place we’re proud to call home,” he said.

“People are coming here, recognising that we offer a great regional tourist experience, from wineries to gorgeous national parks to local markets.

“The Southern Downs is truly becoming Queensland’s premier country getaway destination.”

Peter Homan said the wins come off the back of tough times for Queensland generally and for the Southern Queensland Country region particularly.

“But tourism continues to grow,” Peter said.

“In fact, the Southern Queensland Country region welcomed 2.3 million overnight visitors in the year ending June 2019 and that number is set to rise in 2020.

“The local residents are on board with this increasing percentage of visitors, with almost two-thirds believing that tourism has a positive effect on the community by bringing greater cultural diversity, an increased regional profile and important economic benefits, among others.

“And much of this rise in tourism is due to wonderful tourist experiences, such as those offered by Ridgemill Estate, who continue to support their community.”

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