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32 Gold winners celebrated in the 32nd RACV Victorian Tourism Awards

November 25, 2016 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Victoria’s tourism and events leaders were celebrated in style this evening at the 2016 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards’ gala ceremony hosted by Tommy Little at Crown Palladium. Held by the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) for their second time and in its 32nd year as the industry’s night of nights, winners across 32 categories (including 2 ‘People’s Choice’ categories) were acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to the industry.

An industry led panel of 33 judges and independent auditor determined the winners via a series of submission assessments and site visits. In 2016, there were 132 entries (an increase of around 9 per cent compared with 2015) and 91 entries received a score of 75 per cent or above determining them as winners. Overall, there was a 15 per cent increase of winning entries compared with the previous year and places Victoria in a favourable position to win gold at the upcoming 2016 QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards. This demonstrates a commitment from industry to business excellence and dedication to providing high quality submissions.

Victoria Tourism Industry Council Acting Chief Executive Kristina Burke said she was delighted to see the calibre of entrants in the 2016 awards, commenting: “It’s wonderful to see more industry involved and an increased quality of submissions entered. In particular, entrants from the Murray region should be commended as the leading region claiming the most wins.”

Six operators who have won Gold awards for three consecutive years were admitted into the Hall of Fame, a true honour for these industry leaders. They were:

  1. Bendigo Tramways, Bendigo
  2. BIG4 Beacon Resort, Geelong and the Bellarine
  3. Drift House, Great Ocean Road
  4. Global Ballooning, Melbourne
  5. Green Olive at Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula
  6. Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

John McGaw, Senior Business Development Manager at Destination Melbourne, who for the last 15 years has passionately promoted Melbourne through a range of motivational programs and publications, was presented with the legendary award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual.


The complete winners list is as follows:

RACV People’s Choice – Favourite Metropolitan Attraction Experience

Gold:                                                     Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne

RACV People’s Choice – Favourite Regional Attraction Experience

Gold:                                                     Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Major Tourist Attractions sponsored by Visit Victoria

Hall of Fame (Gold):                         Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Silver:                                                    Puffing Billy Railway, Belgrave

Bronze:                                                Phillip Island Nature Parks, Phillip Island

Finalist:                                                Falls Creek Resort Management, Falls Creek

Tourist Attractions sponsored by Webfirm

Gold:                                                     Creswick Woollen Mills, Creswick

Silver:                                                    Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Pearcedale

Bronze:                                                Rich River Golf Club Resort, Echuca-Moama

Finalist:                                                Shepparton Motor Museum and Collectibles Limited, Shepparton

Finalist:                                                Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Ventnor

Finalist:                                                twistED Science at Play, Echuca

Major Festivals and Events sponsored by Public Transport Victoria

Gold:                                                     Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Melbourne

Silver:                                                    Christmas in July, Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Bronze:                                                2016 Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow, Melbourne

Festivals and Events

Gold:                                                     Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff

Ecotourism sponsored by Wildlife Victoria

Gold:                                                     Peninsula Hot Springs, Fingal

Silver:                                                    Eco-Logic Education & Environment Services, Anglesea

Cultural Tourism sponsored by Museums Victoria

Hall of Fame (Gold):                         Bendigo Tramways, Bendigo

Silver:                                                    Port of Echuca Discovery Centre, Echuca

Bronze:                                                Cape Otway Light Station, Cape Otway

Finalist:                                                McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Langwarrin

Finalist:                                                Pioneer Settlement Swan Hill, Swan Hill

QANTAS Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism

Gold:                                                     Worn Gundidj @ Tower Hill, Warrnambool

Silver:                                                    Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Grovedale

Specialised Tourism Services sponsored by City of Melbourne

Gold:                                                     SkyBus, Melbourne

Silver:                                                    Business Events Victoria, Melbourne

Visitor Information Services sponsored by Parks Victoria

Gold:                                                   Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visitor Information Centre Network, Phillip Island

Silver:                                                    The Geelong and Bellarine Visitor Information Service, Geelong

Bronze:                                                Sunbury Visitor Information Centre, Sunbury

Finalist:                                                St Kilda Tourism & Events, St Kilda

Finalist:                                                Echuca Moama Visitor Information Centre, Echuca

Business Event Venues sponsored by City of Melbourne

Gold:                                                     Holmesglen at Eildon, Eildon

Silver:                                                    The Pier Geelong, Geelong

Bronze:                                                Yarra Valley Estate, Dixons Creek

Major Tour and Transport Operators sponsored by Pizzini

Gold:                                                     Bunyip Tours, Melbourne

Silver:                                                    AAT Kings, Melbourne

Tour and Transport Operators sponsored by Grand Ridge Brewery

Hall of Fame (Gold):                         Global Ballooning Australia, Richmond

Silver:                                                    Murray River Paddlesteamers, Echuca

Bronze:                                                Wildlife Coast Cruises, Phillip Island

Finalist:                                                Bay Fish N Trips, Mornington

Finalist:                                                Phillip Island Helicopters, Phillip Island

Finalist:                                                Autopia Tours, Williamstown

Finalist:                                                Walk Melbourne Tours, Melbourne

Adventure Tourism sponsored by Bright Brewery

Gold:                                                     Auswalk Walking Holidays, Victoria

Silver:                                                    Go Ride A Wave, Anglesea

Bronze:                                                Seals By Sea Tours, Cape Bridgewater

Destination Marketing sponsored by Town Square

Gold:                                                     Bendigo Art Gallery & Twentieth Century Fox present Marilyn Monroe

Silver:                                                    Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism

Bronze:                                                Yarra Ranges Tourism

Finalist:                                                Visit Ballarat

Finalist:                                                Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services sponsored by William Angliss Institute

Gold:                                                     Masons of Bendigo, Bendigo

Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries sponsored by Visit Victoria

Gold:                                                     Pizzini Wines, Whitfield

Silver:                                                    Bright Brewery, Bright

Bronze:                                                Crittenden Wine Centre, Dromana

Finalist:                                                Little Creatures Brewery, Geelong

Caravan and Holiday Parks sponsored by Victorian Caravan Parks Association

Hall of Fame (Gold):                         BIG4 Beacon Resort, Queenscliff

Silver:                                                    Echuca Holiday Park, Echuca

Bronze:                                                RACV Cobram Resort, Cobram

Finalist:                                                BIG4 Bellarine Holiday Park, Marcus Hill

Finalist:                                                BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park, Inverloch

Hosted Accommodation

Gold:                                                     Harmony Bed and Breakfast, Fingal

Silver:                                                    Heytesbury House, Cobden

Unique Accommodation sponsored by Tourism Australia

Gold:                                                     All Seasons Houseboats, Mildura

Self-Contained Accommodation

Gold:                                                     Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate, Dromana

Silver:                                                    Isabella at Kyneton, Kyneton

Bronze:                                                The Churches, Orrvale

Standard Accommodation sponsored by Yarra Trams

Gold:                                                     Cave Hill Creek, Raglan

Silver:                                                    Jetty Road Retreat, Nungurner

Bronze:                                                Ibis Styles Melbourne, The Victoria Hotel, Melbourne

Finalist:                                                Gariwerd Motel, Halls Gap

Finalist:                                                Best Western Hamilton Lakeside Motel, Hamilton

Deluxe Accommodation

Gold:                                                     Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

Silver:                                                    Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway, Wangaratta

Luxury Accommodation

Hall of Fame (Gold):                         Drift House, Port Fairy

Silver:                                                    RACV Torquay Resort, Torquay

New Tourism Business sponsored by Prime 7

Gold:                                                     The Wellness Manor, Mornington

Silver:                                                    Grampians Helicopters, Stawell

Bronze:                                                Birchgrove in Daylesford, Daylesford

Excellence in Food Tourism sponsored by Visit Victoria

Hall of Fame (Gold):                         Green Olive at Red Hill, Main Ridge

Silver:                                                    Rich Glen Olive Estate, Yarrawonga

Bronze:                                                Great Ocean Road Brewhouse, Apollo Bay

Finalist:                                                Baringo Food and Wine Co., New Gisborne

Finalist:                                                Apostle Whey Cheese, Cooriemungle

Tourism Education and Training sponsored by Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Gold:                                           Melbourne Tourism Industry Leaders Program, Destination Melbourne, Melbourne

Local Government Award for Tourism sponsored by Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Gold:                                                     Nillumbik Shire Council, Greensborough

Silver:                                                    Corangamite Shire, Camperdown

Bronze:                                                Bass Coast Shire Council, Wonthaggi

Finalist:                                                Greater Shepparton City Council, Shepparton

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual sponsored by Qantas

Gold:                                                 John McGaw, Senior Business Development Manager, Destination Melbourne

Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers

Gold:                                                     Puffing Billy Railway, Belgrave

Young Achievers Award

Gold:                                                     Andrew Cyples, Zoos Victoria

The winners of categories 1 – 25 of the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards will go on to the national level at the Australian Tourism Awards with winners announced on Friday 24th February 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.

Postcards will air an RACV Victorian Tourism Awards special featuring a selection of 2016 winners and finalists on Saturday 10th December at 5.30pm, Channel 9.

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