The start to 2020 will surely be one our industry will never forget, with the devastating bushfires in January, giving way to a global pandemic that has served to systematically shut down our operations from the 1st of February.
While we are trying hard to navigate our way through to the other side of this crisis, this year will continue to be filled with challenges that will take all our energy and focus to survive.
With this as our backdrop, we have taken the very difficult decision this year not to proceed with conducting the 2020 Victorian Tourism Awards. With the insurmountable circumstances we are all confronting, our simply making it to the end of the year deserves an award. And we intend to mark that achievement with a special event that will celebrate our industry.
Victoria is not alone in this course of action, with several other states also deciding to cancel their Awards. As such, at a Board meeting this week of the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC), owners of the Australian Tourism Awards, the decision was made to cancel the national awards program and the event in early 2021.
For over 30 years, the Australian Tourism Awards have recognised and promoted excellence in tourism. During this period, more than 4,000 businesses have entered the Awards in Victoria. They have benefited from the thorough examination of their business practice, with many recognised as winners at the national level.
The Awards program plays an integral role in driving business innovation and industry professionalism. It provides businesses with an opportunity to develop an accurate overview of their operations and identify opportunities for growth.
Understanding the importance of the Awards program to our industry, VTIC, together with some longstanding partners, will be designing alternative programs to support the survival and revival of our industry – supporting businesses on the road to recovery. We look forward to sharing more with you on these programs soon.
During these challenging times, we would like all Victorians to remain proud of the many achievements of our tourism industry and admire the resilience of the people working within it.
We also want to express our sincere gratitude to the Victorian Tourism Awards partners, sponsors, judges, mentors and all those involved in this year-long program. We thank them for their ongoing commitment and support to our industry and look forward to working with them as we design our industry celebration this year.
We know the Tourism Awards will return even bigger and stronger next year; but for now, we’re focusing on working through the current challenges with you and can’t wait to come together to celebrate the amazing industry that we are all so proud to be part of in this country.