Bloomin' great win for Toowoomba at Tourism Awards
THE Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has been thrust on the world stage after picking up gold at the Australian Tourism Awards in Darwin.
Cr Geoff McDonald said he was surprised the 2015 Toowoomba event won against high-calibre competition including the Byron Bay Bluesfest.
He said the longevity and community focused nature of the carnival helped put it in the top spot.
"It's the only festival of its kind in Australia," Cr McDonald said.
"You have to tip your hat to all the volunteers and community groups.
"There are 80 community groups and 15 signature events, together with the sponsors, governments and partners.
"People have called it the tourism nirvana."
Cr McDonald said it was terrific to be in a room filled with tourism ministers from every state and Federal Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck.
"I always make a point of mentioning we're Australia's largest non-capital inland city," he said.
"There was a fair bit of interest around Toowoomba at the event, with people commenting on how well things are going."
Cr McDonald paid tribute to the 2015 co-ordinator Melissa Kite, who has since left the position.