Outstanding tourism businesses from across New South Wales were honoured tonight as the winners of the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards were announced at the Big Top Luna Park, Sydney.

Managed by the Tourism Industry division of the NSW Business Chamber, the state’s peak business organisation, and proudly supported by the NSW Government, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism excellence in NSW.
 
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall congratulated the winners and said they exemplify the high standard and diverse range of tourism experiences on offer in NSW.
 
“Tourism is big business and it’s a vital industry to our State’s economy so to be recognised at the NSW Tourism Awards is an outstanding achievement and I thank all of the winners for their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to offering the very best tourism and events experiences,” Mr Marshall said.
 
“The NSW Visitor Economy is the envy of every other State, with the greatest share of domestic and international visitors, visitor nights and expenditure, and an impressive calendar of major events across Sydney and rural and regional NSW.”
 
The Awards ceremony commenced with the presentation by the Minister of the NSW tourism industry’s highest accolade, the award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to NSW, presented posthumously to Dean Gorddard in recognition of his extraordinary personal and professional contribution to tourism in this state. 

Seventy-one award winners were announced in a range of categories including Major Tourist Attractions, Festivals and Events, Destination Marketing and Accommodation. With 125 finalists in 2018, each winner was selected by an independent judging panel for their exceptional contribution to the NSW Tourism Industry.
 
Four winners were inducted into the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Parkes Shire Council – 2018 Parkes Elvis Festival, Sand Dune Adventures, Lets Go Surfing Australia and Cupitt’s Winery and Brewery who took out top honours in their respective categories for the third year in a row.
 
NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Cartwright, congratulated this year’s winners for their outstanding performance.
 
“This year’s winners and finalists should be incredibly proud to be acknowledged as the leading tourism businesses in NSW. NSW has a diverse range of tourism businesses, which is reflected in the entrants and winners in the Awards program.”

“This year has seen a 21% increase in entrants from 2017 and the judges were impressed by the high standard of entries showcasing a diverse array of talent, passion and innovative drive that continues to ensure our state’s tourism industry thrives.  Good luck to all winners continuing on to the QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards in March 2019,” Mr Cartwright said.

2018 Gold Winners
 
Category Winner Region
Major Tourist Attractions The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney Sydney Metro
Tourist Attractions Forestry Corporation of NSW
Sealy Lookout, Orara East State Forest
North Coast NSW
Major Festivals and Events Splendour in the Grass 2017 North Coast NSW
Festivals and Events Parkes Shire Council
2018 Parkes Elvis Festival
Country & Outback NSW
Ecotourism Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay North Coast NSW
Cultural Tourism Nundle Woollen Mill Country & Outback NSW
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Sand Dune Adventures Sydney Surrounds North
Specialised Tourism Services Ask Roz Sydney Surrounds North
Visitor Information and Services Yass Valley Council - Yass Valley Information Centre Southern NSW
Business Event Venue Elements of Byron North Coast NSW
Major Tour and Transport Operators Moonshadow - TQC Cruises Sydney Surrounds North
Tour and Transport Operators Port Stephens 4WD Tours Sydney Surrounds North
Adventure Tourism Lets Go Surfing Australia Sydney Metro
Destination Marketing Shoalhaven Tourism
100 Beach Challenge Campaign
Sydney Surrounds South
Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services Margan Winery & Restaurant Sydney Surrounds North
Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries Cupitt's Winery and Brewery Sydney Surrounds South
Caravan and Holiday Parks BIG4 Great Lakes at Forster-Tuncurry North Coast NSW
Hosted Accommodation Eldee Station Country & Outback NSW
Unique Accommodation Sierra Escape Mudgee Country & Outback NSW
Self Contained Accommodation Riverside Holiday Resort Urunga North Coast NSW
Standard Accommodation Lodge Outback Motel Country & Outback NSW
Deluxe Accommodation Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, MGallery by Sofitel Sydney Surrounds North
Luxury Accommodation Elements of Byron North Coast NSW
New Tourism Business Blue Ginger Picnics North Coast NSW
Excellence in Food Tourism Cupitt's Winery, Brewery, Fromagerie and Kitchen Sydney Surrounds South
*Outstanding Contribution by an Individual (NSW) Dean Gorddard (posthumous award)  
*Tourism Education and Training TEACH at TAFE NSW Wollongbar North Coast NSW
*Does not progress to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards
 
 
For the full list of winners go to: http://www.nswtourismawards.com/Winners-and-Finalists/2018-Winners
 
 
 
Notes to the Editor:
 
The judging process was conducted by a panel of highly experienced tourism professionals and audited by Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
 
Tourism Industry division, NSW Business Chamber: www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/Tourism-Industry  
 
NSW Tourism Awards: www.nswtourismawards.com 
 

Tourism Awards Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NSWTourismAwards 
 
Tourism Awards Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/NSWTourismAward
 
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Media Contact:

Damian Kelly Senior Manager, Public Affairs T: 02 9458 7544M: 0401 773 825