BRINGING home trophies to the Narooma district from last week's South Coast Tourism Awards were the Narooma Oyster Festival, the Bodalla Dairy Shed and Eurobodalla councillor and Potato Point resident Rob Pollock.
Narooma Oyster Festival’s Silver Award at last week’s South Coast Tourism Awards has given the festival’s status a huge boost, Festival spokesman Paul Dixon said.
“It recognises the efforts of countless volunteers and committee members over the six years leading up to this year’s event, as well as the fantastic support of our sponsors which was a major reason for the festival’s success,” Mr Dixon said.
“The festival this year also reached new heights under the leadership of event manager Garry Ebbeling.”
Narooma Oyster Festival was a close runner-up to the much larger “Wings over the Illawarra” in the hotly contested festival-event category in the South Coast Tourism Awards.
Delighted Narooma Chamber of Commerce and Festival Committee representatives were at the ceremony at Shellharbour to receive the award.
Chamber president Orit Karney-Winters said, “Both the chamber and the Oyster Festival Committee are thrilled with the award and the recognition it gives our town.
“It’s the second award for the festival, having previously won the 2011 South Coast Tourism Award for Community and Innovation.”
Plans are well advanced for the next festival to be held over the weekend April 5-6, 2014.
“We brought the event forward one month to take advantage of warmer weather, daylight saving and a time when the South Coast’s oysters should be in even better condition,” Mr Dixon said.
Next year’s festival will also incorporate several improvements following feedback from this year’s festival patrons.
Awards for Dairy Shed, councillor
THE Bodalla Dairy Shed has received gold in the 2013 South Coast Regional Tourism Awards for Tourism Excellence in the Tourism Café award at the South Coast Tourism Awards held in Shellharbour on Thursday night.
Also receiving an award on the evening was Eurobodalla councillor Rob Pollock OAM who received the Chair’s Award.
The Chair’s Award has only ever been awarded twice before in the 17-year history of the awards.
On presenting the award to Mr Pollock, South Coast Regional Tourism executive officer Tom Phillips said, “To say that Rob is passionate about tourism is an understatement.”
He went on to outline some of Mr Pollock’s achievements, which include chairing of Eurobodalla Tourism from 1989 to 1997; chairman of the South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation for 15 years including the development of a marketing budget of $1 million; his services to the Tourism Industry Council, local Government Tourism taskforce, Eurobodalla Shire Council and being chairman of Regional Development Australian.
In 2012, the Governor General presented Rob with an Order of Australia for his services to tourism on the South Coast of NSW.
“It has been great to watch the way the South Coast has evolved over the years,” Mr Pollock said.
“Tourism in our area is really taking off with people now taking shorter breaks and travelling shorter distances to go on holidays,” he said.
He said that he loved the way the little village of Bodalla was developing and attributed a number of businesses in town including the Bodalla Dairy Shed as attracting more visitors to the area.
“We are looking to link Mogo, Bodalla and Tilba together as a tourism route,” he said.
The Bodalla Dairy Shed took out gold in the Best Tourism Café category.
“I was pretty surprised to win such a highly contested category,” Bodalla Dairy Shed proprietor Sandra McCuaig said.
“This year the process of application was much simpler than in previous years and as a consequence I believe there were more entries.”
Winning a category in the South Coast Regional Tourism Awards automatically includes you in the NSW Tourism Awards.
“By simplifying the entry process, entries had nearly tripled this year,” Mr Pollock said.
In the meantime, the Bodalla Dairy Shed will continue to strive to attract more visitors to the village and are now working on a menu change that will reflect the change of seasons with the inclusions of refreshing salad choices.