On Friday the 5th of February 2016 the Australian Tourism Awards were held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Each year the gala event is held to recognise excellence in tourism from around Australia. It really is the night of nights for the tourism industry with all the best tour operators and industry leaders in the one room to celebrate their achievements.
On the night 27 different categories were awarded, ranging from Luxury Accommodation to Excellence in Food Tourism. In each category the top 3 entrants are announced, receiving either the Bronze, Silver or Gold award. It was in the category of Cultural Tourism that we; Venture North Australia were awarded the highest honour by winning Gold. You can find the full list of all the winners on the night here.
In order to reach the Australian Tourism Awards you first have to become a finalist by winning your state or territory award in the same category. The Cultural Tourism category in the NT was fiercely contested with so many quality cultural tours and experinces on offer throughout the territory. The cultural category recognises 'tourism operations that foster a greater understanding and appreciation of authentic culture, history, heritage and/or the arts'. The NT Tourism Awards are called the 'Brolga Awards' and we were extremely happy to win this category in November and highly anticipated the National Awards to come.
The National Cultural Tourism Finalists were;
On the evening of National Awards company owners Aaron and Hugh unfortunately had prior commitments so they sent their number one camp hosts Heather and Ross to represent! On the night there were definitely a few nerves around, especially since the Cultural Award was one of the last categories announced. Upon announcing the winner the NT contingent went wild! Heather and Ross then made their way to the podium and gave a great speech in front of a 1000+ crowd.
Above photo; Heather and Ross with NT Chief Minister Adam Giles (2nd from right) and CEO of Tourism NT Tony Mayell (far left).
It was a successful evening for the NT as a whole as we ended up with three gold, two silver and two bronze awards. The other gold medal winners on the night were Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia in the category of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism and the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre in the Visitor Information Services category. Also Geoff McGeary who started the company APT (Australian Pacific Touring) was named 'Australian Tourism Legend'.
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