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A Win for the Outback

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Recently, here in Mount Isa, we've received a number of award wins and have had the opportunity to compete against some big names in the state. Mount Isa Entertainment and Tourism Venues' (MIETV) Business Manager, Angi Matveyeff, shared her experience after returning from a few weeks away at multiple award events.

The first award event attended was the local, EMO Trans Northern Outback Business Awards.
"I haven't entered into these awards on behalf of the company before, I think it's the first time MIETV has been entered into the local awards, from what I could see. It was really nerve wracking, being judged by your peers and it is very close to home." 

"We were up against some really substantial businesses. We received the Business Growth Award and the Service ExcellenceAward. Getting both of those, I think is incredibly important for everyone that you work with, to have that recognition, or even just to feel that you can enter an award whether or not you win." It is excellent to see the tourism board doing well in town and it shows that the community is behind getting tourists into the town. And for the first time entering into the awards we did very well to bring home two!"

When talking about what winning truly meant to her and the company, Angi had this to say, "The winning is one thing but the learning and business development process provided by going through awards, keeps you sharp and makes you think about what you need to introduce next time." She added, "So, now I know where the gaps are, we know what we need to concentrate on next time; it's that constant desire for improvement, all the time, and growing the business. It's probably the only time I really stress; I can't seem to help it." 

MIETV also managed to bring home 2 awards at the Outback Queensland Tourism Awards. "We came home with the Destination Marketing Award which I was really surprised about because we were, again, up against some substantial businesses. We also came home with the Visitor Information & Services Award, and that was great and a real credit to our team. The visitor centres in the outback generally have product attached to them." Up against some of the best the Outback has to offer, and bringing home 2 awards is a very important thing, not only for us but the entire North West.

The Queensland Tourism Awards were a slightly different case but still a success for the town and the entire Outback Queensland region. "It's a much bigger playing field, and tougher competition. However, I'll find out and learn where we need to make those improvements." It was not a total loss for the town, because the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo came away with a Gold for Festivals and Events

Angi described the scene at the awards and it really shows that tourism in outback Queensland is growing in leaps and bounds. "In the state awards we had several tables of outback participants, and this year is the first time that 60% of the awards went to the outback... I think there may have been 10 tables from the outback and we all had cowbells. Every time the word 'outback' was mentioned there was a big noise, so that was great and such good fun. Not only does it elevate Mount Isa and the North West Queensland region but it elevates the whole of the outback as a concept and as a destination." 

Even if there is not much talk of outback tourism yet, it's making huge waves within Australia. It will only continue to grow and build momentum; soon we will truly have Mount Isa and the rest of outback Queensland on the map. "I think, in particular, Mount Isa and the North West region have been a sleeping giant and the giant is waking up and wants to play." Wiser words about Mount Isa and the region have not been spoken. 

We are excited to see how we do in the awards next year and hope to bring home awards at state level very soon!

Interview and article by Kayla Elliot


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