MORE than 250 people attended the gala presentation evening of the South Coast Tourism Awards at The Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, Batemans Bay last night, Wednesday.
For the Narooma district, the Bodalla Cheese Factory was a big winner taking out gold in the Tourism Attraction category.
The Narooma Oyster Festival received a bronze in the Festival/Event category, following on from a silver award last year, while the Eurobodalla River of Art received silver also in the Festival/Event category and Bellbird Bed and Breakfast at Bermagui received silver in the Hosted Accommodation category.
As the premier tourism event on the South Coast it is the highlight of all the hard work that has been done by the thousands of tourism businesses from Helensburgh to Eden along the South Coast of NSW.
Diane Johnston, acting chairwoman of the South Coast Regional Tourism organisation, said, “I am thrilled at the standard of entries received for the Awards. All the companies that entered and made it to being a finalist are the best tourism businesses on the South Coast of NSW. The winners and all the place-getters are the best of the best.”
Ken Merrifield, chairman of the judges, said, “On behalf of my panel of judges I would like to congratulate all tourism businesses who have entered these awards and especially all who have made it through to become finalists.
“The objective of these awards is to recognise those businesses who are striving to offer the best possible product and the best possible service to the visitors to the South Coast.
“The judging process is vigorous and fair. All entries are judged on their merits and all site visits are conducted to a standard that has been applied to all equally. It is a process that takes two months and ensures the integrity of the South Coast Tourism Awards.
“We are amazed at the standard of entries that were received this year, the breadth of product on offer and the professionalism and dedication of the people who own and run the businesses.”
Tom Phillips, South Coast Tourism executive officer said, “Tourism contributes $2.1 billion a year to the South Coast economy and directly employs over 19,700 people. These tourism awards allow the best of our Tourism industry to show off what they can do and to demonstrate to the world at large that the Tourism product here on the South Coast of NSW is second to none.”
The winners of each category are:
1. Adventure Tourism – Walking in Water, Ulladulla
2. Heritage and Cultural Tourism – Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong
3. Ecotourism – Cat Balou Cruises, Eden
4. Indigenous Tourism – Galamban Extraordinary Aboriginal Experience, Wreck Bay, Jervis Bay Territory
5. Tourist Attractions – Bodalla Cheese Factory, Bodalla
6. Tourism Restaurants – Lagoon Restaurant, North Wollongong
7. Tourism Cafes – Sprout Eden, Eden
8. Regional Winery, Brewery or Pub – Silos Estate and Wileys Creek, Berry
9. Marketing and Promotion – Discover, Jervis Bay, Jervis Bay
10. Visitor Information Centres – Shellharbour Visitors Centre, Shellharbour Village
11. Tour and/or Transport Operators – Dolphin Watch Cruises, Huskisson
12. Registered Clubs – Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club, Warilla
13. Meetings, Functions and Business Tourism – The Sebel Harbourside, Kiama
14. Event or Festival – Kiama Show, Kiama
15. General Tourism Service or Product – Daisycare Nanny Agency, Bomaderry
16. Tourism Retailing – Kangaroo Valley Fudge House and Ice Creamery, Kangaroo Valley
17. New Tourism Development – Trees Adventure, North Nowra
18. Accommodation – Budget Accommodation – Sapphire Waters Motor Inn, Merimbula
19. Accommodation – Executive Accommodation – Fairway Motor Inn, Merimbula
20. Accommodation – Self Catering and Serviced Apartments – Carries Cottage, Nelligen
21. Accommodation – Holiday Letting - Escape@Culburra, Culburra Beach
22. Accommodation – Holiday Letting Services – Jervis Bay Rentals, Huskisson
23. Hosted Accommodation – Mollymook Beach Waterfront, Mollymook
24. Tourist and Caravan Parks up to 3 ½ AAA rating – Tathra Beach Family Park, Tathra
25. Tourist and Caravan Parks 4 AAA Rating and above. – Big 4 Broulee Beach Holiday Park, Broulee
26. Unique Accommodation- Barrengarry Boutique Farm Cottages, Kangaroo Valley
27. Family Friendly Award – Burrill Lake Tourist Park, Burrill Lake
28. Tourism Small Business Operator – Cat Balou Cruises, Eden