ON FEBRUARY 26th, at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards 2009, 27 winners from a wide range of categories were announced. Organizing the awards is the National Tourism Alliance, a collective whose members number over 40,000 — 90% — of the country’s tourism operators.
Matador’s magic word of late — transparency — comes to mind when viewing the list of finalists and the winners. I was disappointed that the website doesn’t state how the finalists were chosen or with what criteria the winners were picked. For all I know, it’s whoever is putting up the most bucks. But maybe I’m just cynical.
Anyhoo, here are some of your winners:
Major Tourist Attraction – Melbourne Aquarium, Victoria
Sharks, penguins, stingrays, sea turtles, seahorses, and more.
Major Festivals and Events – Tour Down Under, South Australia
The first stop on the world cycling calendar and the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere.
Ecotourism – Bruny Island Cruises, Tasmania
A family run business in its 10th year of operation providing ecotours around Tasmania’s Bruny Island.
They have recently expanded operations to extend their touring area with Tasman Island Cruises.
Indigenous Tourism – Booderee National Park, New South Wales
Owned by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community, Booderee means ‘bay of plenty’ or ‘plenty of fish’ in the Dhurga language.
Adventure Tourism – Passions of Paradise, Queensland
Sail from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef on a 25 foot catamaran, taking in scuba diving and snorkeling.
Backpacker Accommodation – Sydney Central YHA, New South Wales
89% rating on the YHA website. The Rocks location has 96% (just an FYI).
Unique Accommodation – Longitude 131, Northern Territory
Private views of sunset and sunrise over Uluru — from your own bed with the flick of a blind-raising switch! 2-night packages start at a hair over $3000 (the good news is, you can save 15% if you add one or more extra nights).
Luxury Accommodation – Skycity Darwin, Northern Territory
A 5-star International Hotel Casino with 117 rooms and over 503 slot machines.
Take note, the dress standards require ‘neat and tidy’ attire (and appropriate footwear) with an appropriate level of personal hygiene being adhered to at all times.
Spans 7.5 kms over and into Cairn’s World Heritage listed tropical rainforest.
Out of 31 winners and notable mentions, I noticed not one organization was from Western Australia. I knew there was a reason I wanted to go there.
Do these awards mean anything to you? Are you more likely to visit a place or attraction as a result of this?
Share your thoughts below!