GEM: A close up of a Rubyvale Gem Gallery sapphire.
GEM: A close up of a Rubyvale Gem Gallery sapphire. GAUS

Rubyvale family is rewarded

THE family-owned Rubyvale Gem Gallery has been named as a 2019 Best Of Queensland Experience destination.

This Queensland Government initiative highlights the Queensland tourist operators who exceed consumer expectations and deliver exceptional experiences.

Since Peter and Eileen Brown opened the Gem Gallery in 1988, the Rubyvale Gem Gallery has been a tourism landmark for the Gemfields region.

Now with the business also in the hands of sons Tyler and Mitch, Mitch Brown is proud that the Gem Gallery reaches the standards of this recognition.

"The best thing about this Best of Queensland Experiences is that it's great to be recognised for how we are performing,” Mr Brown said.

"It's also a really good benchmark against the average score that you see for the Capricorn region and of Queensland.

"It's great to understand where we stand right now.”

This latest milestone joins a line of tourism accolades including being named by the RACQ as one of the 150 Must Do's in Queensland, and joining Australia Zoo as one of two tourism destinations located in Queensland that have won the prestigious Australian Tourism Award for Specialised Tourism Service.

With stern tourism competition across the Central Highlands and Gemfields area, Mr Brown believed that the thorough process of mining the sapphires themselves helped the Gem Gallery to stand out.

"There's a lot of people that do a similar service to us but not many who do exactly what we do which is to mine the sapphires, cut them and make the jewellery out of them,” Mr Brown said.

"We probably stand alone in some of those achievements but others offer more tourism services like tours.

"We control the process from the rough sapphire through to retail.”

The effective use of social media and a secure online booking platform were key criteria for the 2019 Best Of Queensland Experience.

Since their involvement in the business, Mitch and Tyler have taken control in the online space to drive forward more success for their business.

"Our business numbers continue to grow and with the advent of doing more business online, dealing directly through channels like Facebook and Instagram and our new website with an online store, started over 12 months ago,” Mr Brown said.

"We know we have a pretty good social media audience that engage and are loyal.

"From this report we know we have a long way to go to achieving consistency with numbers of posts.”

Mitch credits success from this latest accolade to the respect of his parent's passion for the industry.

"My parents are inductees in the Queensland Tourism Hall of Fame.

"People soon learn from talking to us is that we're passionate and we care about providing the best service possible,” Mr Brown said.