TCOF. Bev Lacey

Toowoomba's Carnival of Flowers is best event in Aus

IT STARTED out as a humble flower show, but Toowoomba's Carnival of Flowers has been crowned the best tourism event in the country for the second year in a row.

Beating out iconic events including the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival and Melbourne's Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Toowoomba's much-loved carnival took out the top gong in a glittering gala at last night's Australian Tourism Awards in Perth.

It has blossomed in to a huge celebration of food, music and culture giving the city a massive influx of visitors.

Toowoomba Regional Council's tourism leader Cr Geoff McDonald, in Perth for the announcement, said the win was a credit to the team behind the 2016 event which battled inclement weather.

"Kate Scott came in as acting coordinator that year which had inclement weather and that put numbers just under 200,000 people," he said.

"But this is a credit to the thousands of volunteers and community groups that are involved in the 2016 event, and all the people involved in the 67 years before that."

Cr McDonald said Toowoomba being named as home of the best event in the country was a major credential that would benefit the entire region.

"Remember that it's not just the 10 days of the Carnival of Flowers but celebrating a region others have maybe never really contemplated visiting," he said.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said Toowoomba's win was a testimony to the hard work and determination of everyone who believed in the carnival.

"It shows that you can start something at a very grassroots level and with determination and co-operation it can make a huge impact," he said.

He said wins by other Queensland operators including the Whitsundays' Ocean Rafting and the Grand Hotel and Apartments Townsville showed Queensland was matching it with other states on a national scale.

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