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Caloundra 'well and truly on the map' after claiming third place in tourist town awards

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One of the Sunshine Coast’s most iconic destinations has been recognised among the nation’s top three tourism towns.

After months of campaigning and celebration, Caloundra was awarded third place at the Australian Top Tourism Town Awards on Thursday during a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.

The slice of paradise received the honour after taking out the 2023 Queensland Top Tourism Town Awards held by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council in June.

Related story: It’s official: Coast destination named state’s best

Brady Sullivan, the CEO of the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce, which spearheaded the campaign, said the Top Tourism Town Awards had propelled Caloundra onto the nation’s tourism scene.

“Our state and national success is a huge drawcard for Caloundra and the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“Caloundra is well and truly on the map.”

Councillor Terry Landsberg and Caloundra Chamber CEO Brady Sullivan and digital storyteller Laura Pettigrew.

Mr Sullivan said the national recognition would help attract vital investment to the region including the funds needed to deliver projects like the Sunshine Coast Regional Art Gallery.

“Caloundra has been a loved holiday destination for countless generations and is at the centre of immeasurable family memories,” he said.

“Our recent awards will attract more families and travellers to Caloundra and ensure our town continues to grow its already great tourism offering with drawcards like the proposed Sunshine Coast Regional Art Gallery.”

A panel of judges decided the nation’s top three tourism towns from seven state winners including Victoria’s Ballarat, Tasmania’s Devonport, Northern Territory’s Katherine, Western Australia’s Mandurah, New South Wales’ Newcastle and South Australia’s Victor Harbor.

Mandurah took out gold, with Ballarat claiming second place.

Related story: Coast town in race to become Australia’s best

Noosa tour guide business Joel’s Journeys placed second in the Top Tour Guide category.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Brett Fraser said it was fantastic to see Caloundra being recognised.

“Queensland has no shortage of natural and local wonders to marvel. It’s fantastic to receive nationwide recognition for our award-winning holiday destinations,” he said.

The Top Tourism Town awards recognise Australian towns with a population over 5000 people that offer amazing visitor experiences and are committed to working collectively to increase visitation to its region.

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