Best Western Fairway Motor Inn, Merimbula and Sapphire Waters Motor Inn, Merimbula were big winners in the South Coast Tourism’s night of nights, the South Coast Tourism Awards with the Fairway Motor Inn picking up the gold award in the ‘Executive Accommodation’ category and Sapphire Waters Motor Inn receiving gold in the ‘Budget Accommodation’ category.
More than 250 people from tourism businesses from Merimbula, Tathra and Eden right through to Wollongong attended the gala presentation evening at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club on Wednesday night.
Acting chairwoman of the South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation (Tourism Shellharbour manager) Diane Johnston, said she was thrilled at the standard of entries received for the awards.
“All the companies that entered and made it to being a finalist are the best tourism businesses on the South Coast of NSW,” she said.
“The winners and all the place-getters are the best of the best.”
Chairman of the judges Ken Merrifield on behalf of the judges congratulated all tourism businesses who entered the awards, particularly the finalists.
“The objective of these awards is to recognise those businesses who are striving to offer the best possible product and the best possible service to the visitors to the South Coast,” he said.
“The judging process is vigorous and fair.
“All entries are judged on their merits and all site visits are conducted to a standard that has been applied to all equally.
“It is a process that takes two months and ensures the integrity of the South Coast Tourism Awards.
“We are amazed at the standard of entries that were received this year, the breadth of product on offer and the professionalism and dedication of the people who own and run the businesses”
South Coast Tourism executive officer Tom Phillips said Tourism contributed $2.1 billion a year to the South Coast economy and directly employed more than 19,700 people.
“These Tourism Awards allow the best of our tourism industry to show off what they can do and to demonstrate to the world at large that the Tourism product here on the South Coast of NSW is second to none,” he said.
The winners of each category were:
1. Adventure Tourism – Walking in Water, Ulladulla
2. Heritage and Cultural Tourism – Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong
3. Ecotourism – Cat Balou Cruises, Eden
4. Indigenous Tourism – Galamban Extraordinary Aboriginal Experience, Wreck Bay, Jervis Bay Territory
5. Tourist Attractions – Bodalla Cheese Factory, Bodalla
6. Tourism Restaurants – Lagoon Restaurant, North Wollongong
7. Tourism Cafes – Sprout Eden, Eden
8. Regional Winery, Brewery or Pub – Silos Estate and Wileys Creek, Berry
9. Marketing and Promotion – Discover, Jervis Bay, Jervis Bay
10. Visitor Information Centres – Shellharbour Visitors Centre, Shellharbour Village
11. Tour and/or Transport Operators – Dolphin Watch Cruises, Huskisson
12. Registered Clubs – Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club, Warilla
13. Meetings, Functions and Business Tourism – The Sebel Harbourside, Kiama
14. Event or Festival – Kiama Show, Kiama
15. General Tourism Service or Product – Daisycare Nanny Agency, Bomaderry
16. Tourism Retailing – Kangaroo Valley Fudge House and Ice Creamery, Kangaroo Valley
17. New Tourism Development – Trees Adventure, North Nowra
18. Accommodation – Budget Accommodation – Sapphire Waters Motor Inn, Merimbula
19. Accommodation – Executive Accommodation – Fairway Motor Inn, Merimbula
20. Accommodation – Self Catering and Serviced Apartments – Carries Cottage, Nelligen
21. Accommodation – Holiday Letting - Escape@Culburra, Culburra Beach
22. Accommodation – Holiday Letting Services – Jervis Bay Rentals, Huskisson
23. Hosted Accommodation – Mollymook Beach Waterfront, Mollymook
24. Tourist and Caravan Parks up to 3 ½ AAA rating – Tathra Beach Family Park, Tathra
25. Tourist and Caravan Parks 4 AAA Rating and above. – Big 4 Broulee Beach Holiday Park, Broulee
26. Unique Accommodation- Barrengarry Boutique Farm Cottages, Kangaroo Valley
27. Family Friendly Award – Burrill Lake Tourist Park, Burrill Lake
28. Tourism Small Business Operator – Cat Balou Cruises, Eden