Rockhampton shines at Queensland Tourism Awards

Published on 17 November 2021

L - R Grant Cassidy, Mayor Tony Williams, Greg Bowden.jpg

Rockhampton was on the radar at the 2021 Queensland Tourism Awards on Friday evening, taking home a total of 5 awards.

The Queensland Tourism Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of the state’s tourism industry and aims to reward excellence for best practice within the tourism sector. Rare Spares Rockynats, Beef Australia and Empire Apartment Hotel were amongst the winners and finalists announced at the prestigious black tie event.

The inaugural Rare Spares Rockynats was awarded silver after being nominated in the ‘Festival and Events’ award category by Advance Rockhampton, Rockhampton Regional Council’s Economic Development, Tourism, Events and Marketing team.

Beef Australia took home two gold awards for their 2021 event in the ‘Major Festival and Events’ category and ‘Excellence in Food Tourism’ category.

Empire Apartment Hotel also took home two gold awards across the ‘Deluxe Accommodation’ category and ‘Business Event Venue’ category. 2021 marks the third year Empire Apartment Hotel have won gold for ‘Deluxe Accommodation’, placing them in the prestigious Hall of Fame.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams said the awards place the Rockhampton region as one of Queensland’s top event and travel destinations.

“Being recognised in the Queensland Tourism Awards places Rockhampton amongst some of the state’s best event and tourism destinations, promoting Rockhampton not only as a place to visit, but as an events epicentre,” Mayor Williams said.

“This recognition proves our region offers a multitude of reasons to visit – where else in Queensland can you attend nationally recognised events, stay in award winning accommodation and explore a region brimming with tourism experiences like fishing, mountain biking and playing with meerkats all in the heart of the city?

“It’s been great to see major events back on the calendar, with thousands of locals and visitors lining the streets and getting in on the action. The city has had a real buzz to it this year.”

Advance Rockhampton Executive Manager Greg Bowden said these awards will help to push Rockhampton’s economic profile as a leading tourism and events destination. 

“This recognition has certainly put Rocky on the Radar not only as a great holiday destination but as a thriving region for economic growth and region of choice for major events,” Mr Bowden said.

“Queensland’s visitor economy is worth $23 billion per year in tourism spending with Rare Spares Rockynats responsible for generating a total direct and incremental expenditure impact of $4.7 million in its inaugural year and Beef Australia generating $94 million.

“Combined, over 80% of this impact came from intrastate and interstate visitors travelling to Rockhampton, all spending money on accommodation, food and beverage, festival tickets and visitor experiences around the region.

“Being named a Tourism Queensland award recipient builds on the great work our local tourism operators, businesses and the Advance Rockhampton team are doing in establishing iconic events and driving economic development in our region.”

To find out more about the Queensland Tourism Awards, visit:

Advance Rockhampton is the economic development, tourism events and marketing division of Rockhampton Regional Council. For more information, contact the team at