UQ graduate wins World Tourism Award

1 May 2015

QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind recently attended the 2015 World Tourism Forum (WTF) in Lucerne, Switzerland to participate in discussions around future challenges and strategies for the tourism industry.

Mr Gschwind was privileged to witness fellow Australian Leonie Bowles, a graduate from QTIC member organisation University of Queensland, who received the Young Talents award as part of the Young Talents Program.

The award was open to students enrolled in the World Tourism Forum's partner universities. Participating students submitted an academic paper on an issue related to the tourism industry and completed an online learning agility test.

Leonie is currently working as the Project Officer for the National Landscapes Program for Ecotourism Australia, QLD Partnership Officer for Conservation Volunteers Australia and as a tutor for UQ Business School course Sustainable Tourism.

QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind applauded Ms Bowles for receiving recognition for her paper, titled The role of ethics, values and vision in ecotourism operators’ leadership.

“Tourism is a global business and to have our local student talent recognised on the world stage in this way is a great accolade, especially for the University of Queensland,” Mr Gschwind said.

“The interaction of participants among the Young Talents Program with international business and research networks can benefit our industry greatly and ultimately make us more competitive.”

Tourism and Events Queensland CEO and Adjunct Professor with the UQ Business School, Leanne Coddington, congratulated Leonie on her achievement and commitment to growing tourism in Queensland.

“The recent World Tourism Forum in Lucerne involved three generations of tourism operators exchanging ideas, concepts and discussing more sustainable business models,” Ms Coddington said.

“Receiving international recognition is a testament to Leonie for her work in showcasing the role of ethics, values and vision in ecotourism operators’ leadership.

“As the number of international tourists grew 4.7% percent in 2014 to reach a record 1.138 billion arrivals, the Asia-Pacific region recorded strong growth at 5.0% per cent.

“This global trend highlights the tremendous opportunities for inbound travel to Queensland now and into the future.

“Tourism is vital to Queensland’s economic prosperity contributing $23 billion to the economy and supporting 230,000 Queensland jobs.”

This is the second Young Talents Award received by a graduate from the University of Queensland. In 2013, UQ student Maria Golubovskaya also received the Young Talents award alongside fellow finalist Marine Billot.

QTIC is the peak industry body for tourism in Queensland, acting as “The Voice of Tourism”. QTIC is a private sector, membership-based organisation representing the interests of the tourism and hospitality industry across Queensland.