By VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith
Huge congratulations to the winners of the 2014 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards, announced at a gala ceremony at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre this week. We were delighted that VTIC members represented the majority of winners and finalists, with 43 recognised for the outstanding contribution they make to tourism in our state.
Solid business foundations are essential for a sustainable and professional tourism industry and the Victorian Tourism Awards are a wonderful way of showcasing business excellence. It was wonderful to attend the gala – which marked the 30th anniversary of the awards – which was a celebration of the depth and breadth of products Victoria offers. We are proud of all award recipients and nominees, who deliver exceptional experiences for visitors to our state.
Special congratulations go to the VTIC, VECCI and Melbourne Chamber of Commerce members who were honoured at the event, including the following category winners:
- Sovereign Hill – Major Tourist Attractions
- Peninsula Hot Springs – Tourist Attractions and Hall of Fame entrant
- Melbourne Cup Carnival – Major Festivals and Events
- Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park – Ecotourism
- Bendigo Tramways – Heritage and Cultural Tourism
- Leisure Options – Specialised Tourism Services
- Frankston Visitor Information Centre – Visitor Information and Services and Hall of Fame entrant
- Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre – Business Tourism and Hall of Fame entrant
- Searoad Ferries – Major Tour and/or Transport Operators
- Global Ballooning Australia – Tour and/or Transport Operators
- Enchanted Adventure Garden & Tree Surfing – Adventure Tourism
- Crown College Melbourne – Tourism Education and Training
- Fowles Wine Cellar Door Café – Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries and Hall of Fame entrant
- BIG4 Beacon Resort – Tourist and Caravan Parks
- Space Hotel – Backpacker Accommodation
- Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway – Deluxe Accommodation
- Naturewise Eco Escapes – New Tourism Development
- Murrindindi Shire Council – Local Government Award for Tourism
- Alla Wolf-Tasker – Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
VTIC pleased to again play a significant role in the tourism awards program this year, delivering preparatory workshops across the state, as well as coordinating the entrants’ mentoring program and judging panel.
For this first time, I was asked to judge these prestigious awards and it was an honour to do so. Over the course of many late nights I was occupied by this responsibility and it was a most fulfilling, humbling and uplifting job.
The number of entries for the awards was up on last year, but we would love to see even more submissions from across the whole state next year. Stay tuned for details of the preparatory workshops VTIC will deliver in 2015.