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Dressed to the nines in Oscar glam, the who’s who of the tourism industry descended upon the Canberra Theatre Centre’s Playhouse for the annual Canberra and Capital Region Tourism Awards hosted by local comedian Chris Ryan. ACT Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Andrew Barr, was on hand to announce this year’s winners, with the National Gallery of Australia taking the cake as the capital’s Major Tourist Attraction for 2014.
In an industry that contributes over $1.8 billion annually and that employs more than 17,000 Canberrans, the awards celebrate the diversity of experiences available to both locals and visitors throughout Canberra and surrounding regions.
This year saw a partnership with the National Capital Attractions Association (NCAA) to provide further support to entrants which resulted in a significant increase in the number of entrants.
The awards give tourism industry members a vehicle to promote and reward tourism operators while also providing significant support to continue to grow their businesses. A vibrant tourism sector is essential as the capital aims to reach its target to grow overnight tourism expenditure in the ACT to $2.5 million by 2020.
The award winners will represent the Canberra and Capital Region at the Australian Tourism Awards in Adelaide next April.
Award winners by category are:
- Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre (Tourist Attractions)
- Mapping our World: Terra Incognita to Australia, National Library of Australia (Major Festivals and Events)
- 2014 National Folk Festival (Festivals and Events)
- Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (Ecotourism)
- Canberra Airport (Specialised Tourism Services)
- Canberra Institute of Technology (Tourism Education and Training)
- Hotel Realm (Luxury Accommodation)
- Hotel Hotel (New Tourism Development)
- Novotel Canberra (Qantas Award for Sustainable Tourism)
- Yass Valley Council (Local Government Award for Tourism)
- Capital Region Farmers Market (Excellence in Food Tourism)
- Dr Ron Radford AM (Outstanding Contribution by an Individual]
- Megan Rodd and Laura Raine (Young Achiever Award)
- Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Four Winds Vineyard and Bungendore Wood Works Gallery (Visitor Experience Award)
Having clocked 240,000 visitors through its gates last year, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury has congratulated Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and their recognition with their two awards at last night’s ceremony.
“Tidbinbilla was presented with the eco tourism award, which recognises ecologically sustainable tourism with a focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“It was also presented with a visitor experience award, which is presented to the three top scoring tourism operators or businesses based on the visitor experience survey conducted as part of the tourism award program. The survey assesses the visitor experience for each entrant.”
Cherish by Canberrans and visitors for many years, Tidbinbilla is a unique place to visit for those who are looking to discover a natural world where encounters with wildlife in their natural habitat are common. Enjoy outdoor recreation activities like bushwalking and cycling or a barbecue picnic with family and friends alongside kangaroos, emus, koalas, platypus and birds galore go about their business in a peaceful natural setting.
The ACT Government, through VisitCanberra, supports the awards by funding and administering the awards process as well as providing a range of value added initiatives. The awards would not be possible without the support and sponsorship of local and national businesses.