Western Australian tourism industry stalwart Ian Laurance and the Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat near Broome have taken out top honours at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
Western Australian tourism industry stalwart Ian Laurance and the Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat near Broome have taken out top honours at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards..
Mr Laurance won the 'Outstanding contribution by an Individual' award, while Eco Beach won the top prize in the 'Unique Accommodation' category.
Tourism Western Australia chief executive Graham Moss paid tribute to Mr Laurance at the awards, held at Burswood Entertainment Complex at the weekend.
"Ian's contribution to the tourism industry in Western Australia spans over 40 years, including time as Minister for Tourism, where he made a significant and lasting contribution to the tourism industry." Mr Moss said.
"Ian was also an active Board Member of Tourism Council WA and is currently the Chair of the Perth Convention Bureau.
"He is the second Western Australian recipient of this prestigious Award, following Laurie O'Meara, the inaugural winner in 2008."
Tourism Minister Kim Hames said Mr Laurance has played an influential role in the tourism industry, and thoroughly deserved the award.
"It's great to see Ian Laurance getting national recognition for his contribution to tourism through almost four decades of service in government, business and on numerous industry boards and committees," Dr Hames said.
Also, Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson announced two more WA regions had been added to the National Landscapes Program, run by Tourism Australia and Parks Australia.
"To have Ningaloo-Shark Bay and the Great South West Edge join the Kimberley in the National Landscapes Program is fantastic," Dr Hames said.
"WA now has three of the 12 regions in the program, which recognises Australia's great landscapes and promotes areas of outstanding natural beauty and cultural significance."