Hunter tourism operators won four Gold awards and Port Stephens’ Sand Dune Adventures was inducted into the Hall of Fame in a glittering night for the region at the NSW Tourism Awards at Luna Park last Thursday.
Moonshadow – TQC Cruises, Margan Winery and Restaurant, Port Stephens 4WD tours and Sand Dune Adventures all won Gold awards in their categories while Sand Dune Adventures was one of four winners inducted into the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame, after taking out top honours in the Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category for the third year in a row.
Margan also picked up a Bronze category award, as did Oakvale Wildlife Park and Hunter Valley based Beyond Ballooning, which was recognised in two categories.
Managed by the Tourism Industry division of the NSW Business Chamber, the state’s peak business organisation, and supported by the NSW Government, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism excellence in NSW.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall congratulated the winners and said they exemplified the high standard and range of tourism experiences on offer in NSW.
“Tourism is big business and it’s a vital industry to our state’s economy so to be recognised at the NSW Tourism Awards is an outstanding achievement and I thank all of the winners for their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to offering the very best tourism and events experiences,” Adam said.
Hunter Business Chamber CEO, Bob Hawes said the achievements of regional operators reflected the growing stature and diversity of the Hunter tourism industry.
“It’s fantastic to see a business like Margan’s leading the state in the highly competitive Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services category and we had a particularly strong showing in the Tour and Transport Operator categories, with Moonshadow, Port Stephens 4WD tours and Beyond Ballooning all winning awards.
“Sand Dune Adventures has been a consistently high performer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category and their Hall of Fame induction was well deserved.”
Seventy-one award winners were announced across a range of categories including Major Tourist Attractions, Festivals and Events, Destination Marketing and Accommodation. With 125 finalists in 2018, each winner was selected by an independent judging panel for their exceptional contribution to the NSW Tourism Industry.
The four winners inducted into the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame were Parkes Shire Council – 2018 Parkes Elvis Festival, Sand Dune Adventures, Let’s Go Surfing Australia and Cupitt’s Winery and Brewery.
All winners continue on to the QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards in March.
IMAGE | Marketing Manager, Elyss Larkham (left) and Functions Manager, Mel Turner (right) from Moonshadow – TQC Cruises.
With more than 1800 members, the Hunter Business Chamber is the largest regional business chamber in Australia and represents the collective interests of a diverse range of sectors across the Region.
The Chamber provides members with a range of services from advocacy and business advice to information and networking opportunities.
Business support is vital in today's economic climate and our primary goal is to assist and represent the needs of businesses in our community.
The Chamber is committed to partnering with all industries in ensuring the ongoing growth and sustainability of the Hunter Region.