Furry Tasmanian Devil ears were out in full force at the 2012 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Hobart, as the host state scooped up a record-breaking eleven accolades – the most ever awarded to a state.
Tasmanian tour operators donned a set of their native marsupial's ears to show support for the Save the Tasmanian Devil initiative, with the locals taking home an impressive haul of five gold, one silver and five bronze awards.
Bringing in the gold was Pennicott Wilderness Journeys for the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism, Bruny Island Cruises for the Tourist Attractions and Ecotourism categories, The Maria Island Walk for Adventure Tourism and Rocky Hills Retreat for Unique Accommodation.
Touching silver was Saffire Freycinet for Luxury Accommodation, and biting into bronze was Sheoaks On Freycinet for Hosted Accommodation, The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel for Business Tourism, The Maria Island Walk for Tour and/or Transport Operators, Austrips for Specialised Tourism Services and finally Pure Tasmania for Tourism Marketing.
Tasmanian tourism entrepreneur Simon Currant was the recipient of the 2012 Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual, with the developer, operator, consultant and tourism visionary playing an "integral role" in shaping the island's tourism industry.
Mr Currant has been instrumental in the development of some of the nature state's most celebrated tourism experiences including Cradle Mountain Lodge, Peppermint Bay and Hobart Cruises, Strahan Village and Franklin Manor.
Tourism Tasmania chief executive John Fitzgerald said that right now, Tasmania is "capturing the imagination" of Australians and international visitors, enhancing its reputation as a "diverse, must-see quality destination".
"Whether it’s to reconnect with nature or awaken the senses with a cultural twist or a luxury escape, I’m confident our visitors will return home after their Tasmanian holiday feeling revitalised and inspired," Mr Fitzgerald said.