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2013 GWN7 Top Tourism Awards Winners Celebrated

September 24, 2013 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Last night saw the City of Armadale host the 24th Annual GWN7 Top Tourism Award Gala Dinner at the beautiful Araluen Golf Resort, which forms part of the Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia’s yearly Conference.

Taking out the honours in 2013 was Margaret River, named the winner of the 2013 GWN7 Top Tourism Award and Dunsborough, named the winner in the Population Under 5,000 category.

Chair of the judging panel, Robyn Fenech commented that “both Margaret River and Dunsborough showed a fantastic dedication to tourism both in their written submissions and in their site visits.”

“The judges were very impressed with all the finalists – it was a tough decision as there are so many amazing experiences throughout Western Australia and all the finalists put their best feet forward.”

Competing against other finalists Denmark and Busselton, Margaret River was recognised for the judges due to “the sheer quality and volume of tourism products and experiences with combined to deliver a world class visitor destination that goes well beyond food and wine. It’s relaxed charm and endless possibilities is continually being reinvigorated to create memorable visitor experiences.”

Margaret River has received from GWN7 an airtime package valued at $25,000 to utilise in support of their overall marketing activities to attract visitors to the region.

In a first, this year the winner of the Population Under 5,000 category also received a $5,000 airtime package from GWN7 to help support their marketing activities as well. Dunsborough was picked above the other finalists of Kalbarri and Bridgetown because it “delivers the perfect coastal holiday ‘down south’ experience – offering natural, cultural and heritage experiences appealing to many market segments. They manage to maintain the country feel whilst embracing a level of sophistication.”

Tourism Minister Liza Harvey congratulated Margaret River for winning the 2013 Top Tourism Award and also Dunsborough for taking out the Top Tourism Award for a town with a population of less than 5,000.

“Western Australia’s South West region is truly extraordinary, boasting spectacular beaches, tall timber forests, stunning caves and outstanding food and wine,” she said.

“In addition it is home to a number of world-class events such as the Margaret River Gourmet Escape food and wine festival and the Margaret River Pro surfing event, which will feature the world’s top 32 male and top 18 female surfers next year.

“The Top Tourism Awards are very important as they acknowledge the significant role of the State’s visitor centres in attracting and welcoming visitors to WA.

“I would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees for their hard work and dedication to our tourism industry.”

Additionally The West Australian Regional Newspapers Special Category Awards were awarded on the night:

2013 Heritage Award – Toodyay

2013 Cultural Award – Derby

2013 Website Development Award – Busselton

2013 Management/Staff Training Award – Busselton

2013 Community Relations Award – Dongara-Port Denison

2013 Environment Award – Denmark

2013 Special Events Award – Bridgetown

Further Special Awards were presented to Margaret River as the winner of the RAC Travel Services Business Planning and Marketing Award, who received a $5,000 RAC Travel Services advertising package.

The Vanguard Press Judges Award was presented to Kalbarri who received a $500 printing voucher with Vanguard Press.

The Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia presented the 2013 Pioneer Award to Margaret Wilson in recognition of her ongoing commitment to tourism in Western Australia and the support that she has shown Visitor Servicing over the years.

The 2013 VCAWA Chairperson’s Award was presented to Robyn Fenech who not only was on the judging panel for the Top Tourism Awards but has been continually working with VCAWA in the ongoing development of the Visitor Servicing industry and the wider tourism industry.

The 2013 West Australian Golden i Award for Visitor Centre Leadership was awarded to Kylie Aurisch from the Busselton and Dunsborough Visitor Centres in recognition of her hard work in developing the teams at these Centres and increasing visitor traffic through the doors.

Kylie received a cash cheque for $1,000 thanks to the West Australian Newspaper, as well as the perpetual trophy and a free conference registration for the 2014 Annual Visitor Servicing Conference which will be held in Kalgoorlie.

The Visitor Centre Association of WA is a not-for-profit peak industry body, representing 100 Visitor Centres and sub-representation of approximately 4,500 tourism businesses throughout Western Australia.

For further information and photos relating to the GWN7 Top Tourism Awards please contact Lisa Hoskin at the Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia on 0406 511 839 or 1800 134 112.

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