Some of Victoria’s most iconic tourist attractions and events were celebrated at last night’s RACV Victorian Tourism Awards, cementing the State’s reputation as a leading tourism destination.
Metropolitan Gold winners included 2017 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix for the Major Festivals and Events category, State Library Victoria for Cultural Tourism and SkyBus for Major Tour and Transport Operators.
Presented by the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) for the third year, the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards gala ceremony is the tourism, events and hospitality industry’s night of nights, celebrating winners across 30 categories for their outstanding contributions to the industry.
In its 33rd year, there were 126 entries in 2017, with 73 business entries achieving a score of 75 per cent or above determining them as winners. Three categories recognising individuals for their contribution to the industry were also awarded.
Regional Victoria was in fine form, with three tourism operators claiming Hall Of Fame status for winning Gold in the same category for three consecutive years. These included the Murray’s All Seasons Houseboats for the Unique Accommodation category, the Mornington Peninsula’s Harmony Bed and Breakfast for Hosted Accommodation and Peninsula Hot Springs for Ecotourism.
Sovereign Hill also struck Gold for Major Tourist Attraction for a fourth year, putting the Ballarat-based attraction into the running to enter the national Hall of Fame at the QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards in Perth in 2018.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Brad Ostermeyer congratulated the winners, bronze, silver and gold, and the finalists in all categories.
“Once again, the calibre of entrants to the Victorian Tourism Awards has been outstanding and proves the attractions and experiences Victoria has to offer just keep getting better,” he said.
“These awards prompt excellence from the whole sector and first-time entrants, like the Melbourne Cricket Ground named as a finalist in the Major Tourism Attractions category, can use feedback from awards judges for business planning and enhancements in the forthcoming year.
Mr Ostermeyer said he was delighted to see the Young Tourism Network (YTN) take home Gold in this year’s Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers category.
“It’s encouraging to see the passion and enthusiasm from the industry’s emerging leaders. Awards such as these provide a great platform to highlight the important work carried out by individuals at all stages of their careers within the tourism and events sector,” he said.
Visit Victoria CEO Peter Bingeman said; “It is the collective contribution of companies and individuals within tourism that play a pivotal role in growing and strengthening the industry and our visitor economy. “These awards are important to Visit Victoria as they are our opportunity to reflect, acknowledge and celebrate those who have made an outstanding contribution.
“We thank the Victorian Tourism Industry Council for their support in delivering such a prestigious industry event.”
2017 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards – Honour Roll
Major Tourist Attractions
Gold: Sovereign Hill
Silver: Puffing Billy Railway
Bronze: Falls Creek Alpine Resort
Gold: A Maze’N Things
Silver: Creswick Woollen Mills
Bronze: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Major Festivals and Events
Gold: 2017 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix
Silver: Christmas in July – Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill
Bronze: Tesselaar Tulip Festival
Festivals and Events
Gold: Riverboats Music Festival
Silver: 2017 TAB Warrnambool May Racing Carnival
Bronze: Shepparton Festival
Gold/Hall of Fame: Peninsula Hot Springs
Gold: State Library Victoria
Silver: Port of Echuca Discovery Centre
Bronze: Eerie Tours
Qantas Award for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism
Gold: Worn Gundidj @Tower Hill
Specialised Tourism Services
Gold: Parks Victoria
Visitor Information Services
Gold: Greater Shepparton Visitor Centre
Silver: Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visitor Information Centre Network
Bronze: Geelong and Bellarine Visitor Information Service
Business Event Venues
Gold: Holmesglen at Eildon
Major Tour and Transport Operators
Silver: Bunyip Tours
Bronze: AAT Kings
Tour and Transport Operators
Gold: Autopia Tours
Silver: Wildlife Coast Cruises
Bronze: Hidden Secrets Tours
Gold: Auswalk Walking Holidays
Silver: The Summit
Gold: Mount Hotham ‘The True Spirit of Alpine Australia’
Silver: Prom Country Regional Tourism
Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services
Gold: Royal Mail Hotel
Silver: Yea Peppercorn Hotel
Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries Gold:
Silver: Crittenden Estate Wine Centre
Bronze: Mornington Peninsula Brewery
Caravan and Holiday Parks
Gold: BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park
Gold/Hall of Fame: Harmony Bed and Breakfast
Silver: Heytesbury House
Bronze: Tallawarra Homestead
Gold/Hall of Fame: All Seasons Houseboats
Silver: Murray River Paddlesteamers, Echuca
Self Contained Accommodation
Gold: The Churches
Silver: Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate
Bronze: Aquabelle Apartments
Gold: Cave Hill Creek
Gold: Royal Mail Hotel
Silver: Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway
Gold: Alkina Lodge
New Tourism Business
Gold: Arthurs Seat Eagle
Silver: Golton in the Gap
Excellence in Food Tourism
Gold: Simply Tomatoes
Silver: Rich Glen Olive Estate
Tourism Education and Training
Gold: Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine Professional Development
Silver: Melbourne Tourism Leadership Program
Local Government Award for Tourism
Gold: Bass Coast Shire Council
Silver: Greater Shepparton City Council
Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
Gold: David Eaton
Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers
Gold: Young Tourism Network
Young Achievers Award
Gold: Paul Beames