A Karumba experience has been named a finalist in the 2019 Grey Nomad Awards cementing the Gulf's reputation as a bucket list destination for older tourists.
The awards recognise businesses and attractions that provide exemplary products, services or experiences for mature-aged travellers in Australia.
The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre has been shortlisted in the 'Best Grey Nomad Attraction or Tour" category.
The new, world-class barramundi interpretive centre, which includes the only hatchery in the world to breed the Southern Gulf barra strain, is free to enter and explains the history, stories and habits of the sought-after fish. A wrap-around viewing platform over the large lagoon, café, dog minding, mangrove and crocodile displays, and a film in the theatrette round out the experience.
The Centre has launched discounted low-cost tours for senior travellers, who make up about 80% of visitors to the region, to learn about the barramundi's lifecycle, sizing and breeding, and participate in fish feeding.
Awards Director Kim Morgan said the Grey Nomad Awards encouraged mature-age travel while supporting adventure and social inclusion.
"The Awards are fostering a happier, healthier lifestyle for over 50s by providing information to guide grey nomads' decisions where to travel and what to experience," Ms Morgan said.
"Tourism is pivotal to many regional economies, with 46 percent of Australian tourism spend occurring in regional areas," she said
The judges congratulated the Shire of Carpentaria and the Karumba community on a successful first year of operations.
"The Centre is perfectly suited to this market, providing an insight into an aspect of Australian life that most people never get to see," the judges said.
"We love that it grew out of the commitment of local fishermen who were restocking the waterways with fingerlings to ensure a sustainable fishing future, and that the Centre continues this vitally important sustainability focus".
The Awards dinner is on the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday 6 November, immediately following The Art of Attraction tourism summit - the first national event to explore two fast-growing 21st century tourism segments, senior travel and arts tourism.
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