With more categories than ever before, all Hunter and Newcastle tourism operators have the opportunity for business recognition at the 2019 NSW Tourism Awards.
Managed by the Tourism Industry division of the NSW Business Chamber in partnership with Destination NSW, the annual NSW Tourism Awards celebrate tourism excellence across the state.
Hunter Business Chamber Chief Executive, Bob Hawes said this is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to receive the recognition they deserve.
“Taking part in the 2019 NSW Tourism Awards is an opportunity to discover the full potential of your business and build your reputation within the tourism industry and broader community,” Bob said.
“As Australia’s leading tourism destination, the quality of tourism operators in NSW is exceptionally high.
“I have no doubt that entrants in this year’s tourism awards will continue to show how tourism operators in NSW are raising the bar on the quality of the NSW visitor experience.”
Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase said the awards always attract a broad range of quality operators and experiences from Australia’s premier tourism state.
“Tourism is big business and is vital to our state’s economy, directly employing 171,200 people, which accounts for 1 in 22 jobs in NSW,” Sandra said.
“The NSW Tourism Awards provide an opportunity to recognise our industry operators and partners for their innovation and unwavering commitment to offering the very best tourism and events experiences and I encourage them to apply in 2019.”
Now in their 30th year, the awards consist of 28 categories, capturing a range of tourism services including major tourist attractions, festivals and events, tourism restaurants & catering services, business event venues and excellence in food tourism.
With the introduction of a new category – Excellence in Accessible Tourism – NSW tourism operators who welcome people of all abilities will be celebrated. Entrants are asked to demonstrate how they have developed a tourism experience to become more accessible.
The criteria and categories of the NSW Tourism Awards are set by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC). NSW winners from categories 1 to 25 automatically progress to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards where they are judged against the best from each State and Territory.
“Winning Hall of Fame at the NSW Tourism Awards is a great achievement for our community,” said CEO of Port Stephens-based Sand Dune Adventures, Andrew Smith.
In addition to Hall of Fame recognition for the Qantas Award for Excellence in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism at the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards, Sand Dune Adventures received the silver award for Adventure Tourism.
“We’re a not-for-profit social enterprise and small business in Port Stephens in Worimi country, owned by the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council, and to win this Gold award three years in a row to go into the Hall of Fame just demonstrates that we’re not just doing it well, we’re doing it exceptionally well. And we’re really proud of that,” Andrew said.
Margret Meagher, Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail, Port Macquarie, values the business improvement aspects of the program.
“Entering submissions into the annual NSW and Regional Tourism Awards is not just valuable, it is critical for the development and ongoing success of our business,” says Meagher, the Silver Winner for Cultural Tourism at the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards.
“Importantly, it not only points to areas where the business can improve but also is a fantastic reminder that we are achieving goals in a competitive process. We love the NSW Tourism Awards!”
With the support of the NSW Government through Destination NSW, four Regional Tourism Awards programs will be delivered across the state: Destination North Coast NSW; Destination Sydney Surrounds North; Destination Riverina Murray and Destination Country & Outback NSW; and Destination Sydney Surrounds South & Destination Southern NSW.
Gold winners from the Regional Tourism Awards progress as automatic finalists to the NSW Tourism Awards, with all regional entrants provided the opportunity to promote their regional entry to the NSW Tourism Awards.
IMAGE | The team from Sand Dune Adventures at the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards.
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.