The exceptional quality of tourism operators across NSW were acknowledged today with the official announcement of finalists for the 2016 NSW Tourism Awards.

Managed by the Tourism Industry division of the NSW Business Chamber and supported by Destination NSW, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses that demonstrate outstanding achievement throughout the year.

Complimentary mentoring was available to all entrants in 2016, with entrants being offered one-on-one feedback on their draft submissions to gain valuable feedback from industry professionals prior to entries closing. Other entrant support tools including regional and metro workshops and webinars were provided to assist entrants throughout the Awards process.

Executive Manager, Tourism Industry Division, NSW Business Chamber, Dean Goddard said
“We are delighted to see a 24% increase in entries this year and a strong take up of our mentoring program to help small tourism businesses develop.”

In 2016, there are over 100 finalists across 26 categories recognising excellence from a range of tourism areas such as Tourist Attractions, Ecotourism, Destination Marketing, Accommodation, Tourism Education and Training.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres congratulated the finalists and said the Awards are a wonderful platform to recognise the year’s achievements in NSW tourism.

“Our tourism industry is at the forefront when it comes to delivering quality products and experiences and I congratulate the 2016 NSW Tourism Awards finalists for contributing to our position as Australia’s premier tourism and events State.”

Lisa Campbell, Chair of the judging panel said it was very encouraging to see an increasing number of exceptional tourism businesses enter the NSW Tourism Awards this year.

“I am so proud to have had the opportunity to lead a highly knowledgeable and professional team of judges who have provided their expertise and time on a voluntary basis to score submissions, undertake site visits and offer feedback to entrants.

Entrants demonstrated new innovations, initiatives and a drive for continuous improvement sending a strong message around the value of the work being delivered by our industry.

We wish all the finalists the best of luck and look forward to celebrating with them at the Gala Event in November,” Ms Campbell said.

Winners will be announced at the NSW Tourism Awards Presentation Night on Thursday 24 November at Luna Park Sydney. Winners from 25 aligned national categories will then represent NSW at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards on 24th February 2017 in Darwin.

All industry members and finalists are invited to attend the NSW Tourism Awards Presentation & Cocktail Celebration on Thursday 24 November 2016. Tickets are available for purchase at www.nswtourismawards.com
 
Major Tourist Attractions Specialised Tourism Services Visitor Information Services
Australian National Maritime Museum Ask Roz Albury Visitor Information Centre
Australian Reptile Park Booking Boss Cultural Heritage and Tourism, City of Parramatta
BridgeClimb Sydney Outback Astronomy Lismore and Nimbin Visitor Information Centres
Featherdale Wildlife Park Sea Acres Rainforest Centre Liverpool Plains Visitor Information Centre
The Big Banana Fun Park State Forest of the Coffs Coast Sea Acres Rainforest Centre
Tourist Attractions Major Festivals and Events Southern Highlands Welcome Festival
Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail Byron Bay Bluesfest Festivals and Events
Sealy Lookout, Orara East State Forest Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, Turandot Boggabri Drovers Campfire
Taronga Western Plains Zoo Hunter Valley Steamfest Canowindra Balloon Challenge
Business Event Venues Tamworth Country Music Festival Deni Ute Muster
Chateau Elan at The Vintage Major Tour and Transport Operators New Year's Eve in Sydney Harbour
Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains - MGallery By Sofitel AAT Kings New South Wales Parkes Elvis Festival
Luna Park Sydney Captain Cook Cruises Sydney Taste Riverina Festival
Novotel Sydney Olympic Park Ecotourism The Wingham Akoostik Music Festival
The Star Event Centre Byron Bay Eco Cruises & Kayaks Tulip Time
Cultural Tourism Region X Adventure Tourism
Arts Mid North Coast Tri State Safaris Beyond Ballooning
Convict Footprints Tour and Transport Operators Lets Go Surfing Australia
Cultural Heritage and Tourism, City of Parramatta Beyond Ballooning Port Stephens 4WD Tours
Nundle Woollen Mill Outback Geo Adventures Tri State Safaris
Old Dubbo Gaol Tweed Endeavour Cruises Destination Marketing
Port Macquarie Museum Qantas Award for Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Destination Southern Highlands
Sydney Outback Wilderness and Aboriginal Explorer Tour and Cruise Arakwal Dolphin Dreaming Parkes Shire Council
Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services Sand Dune Adventures Reset your senses in Mudgee Region
Bent on Food Sydney Outback Wilderness and Aboriginal Explorer Tour and Cruise South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation
Cupitt's Kitchen Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries Sydney Outback
Gol Gol Hotel Cupitt's Winery and Brewery Wild About Whales
Legends Grill at The Vintage Hungerford Hill Wines Standard Accommodation
Margan Wines & Restaurant Self Contained Accommodation Boogie Woogie Beach House
Paper Daisy Hayes Beach House Manera Heights Apartments
The D'Vine Group Lakeview Luxury Accommodation Moama on Murray Resort
The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant Lilypad Luxury Cabins Royal National Part Cottages
The River Deck Seahorse Diamond Beach Deluxe Accommodation
Caravan and Holiday Parks Hosted Accommodation Crowne Plaza Terrigal
BIG4 Bungalow Park on Burrill Lake Eldee Station Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains - MGallery by Sofitel
BIG4 Deniliquin Holiday Park Mansfield on Manning Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa
BIG4 Great Lakes at Forster-Tuncurry Noonaweena Perricoota Vines Retreat
Fingal Bay Holiday Park Telegraph Retreat Cottages The Observatory, Port Macquarie
Great Aussie Holiday Park Unique Accommodation Luxury Accommodation
Halifax Holiday Park Mildura Houseboats Halcyon House
Merimbula Beach Holiday Park Taronga Western Plains Zoo Mountain Whispers
Park Beach Holiday Park Thou Walla Sunset Retreat Pretty Beach House
Stockton Beach Holiday Park New Tourism Business Pullman Sydney Olympic Park
Excellence in Food Tourism Emerald & Aqua The Darling Hotel
Bent on Food Rees International Tourism Education and Training
Food I Am   Sydney TAFE
Margan Wines & Restaurant   TEACH at Wollongbar TAFE
Notes to the Editor:

The judging process was conducted by a panel of highly experienced tourism professionals and audited by Bell Partners.

The NSW Tourism Awards are supported by 13 industry partners: www.nswtourismawards.com/Sponsorship

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
We are delighted to see a 24% increase in entries this year and a strong take up of our mentoring program to help small tourism businesses develop. Dean Goddard, Executive Manager, Tourism Industry Division, NSW Business Chamber�SWVD8����

Media Contact:

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