Two operators of adventure tours on Port Stephens’ famous sand dunes have been recognised by two special awards honouring personal contribution to the region’s tourism industry.
The CEO of Sand Dune Adventures, Andrew Smith, and the Marketing Manager of Port Stephens 4WD Tours, Sean Andrews, received the two awards from Destination Port Stephens as part of its annual acknowledgement of high-achieving ambassadors for the Port Stephens visitor economy.
Mr Smith won the Robyn Shaw Personal Contribution to Tourism Award, an accolade awarded by Destination Port Stephens every year to a passionate individual who has made a major contribution to the local tourism industry. The award is made in memory of Robyn Shaw, a former local tourism board member who worked tenaciously to build the appeal of Port Stephens.
Announcing the award, Destination Port Stephens Marketing Manager, Danny Eather, said Mr Smith displayed unparalleled energy and passion and was devoted to promoting the scenic and cultural assets of Port Stephens’ 32km long and 30m high sand dunes, which formed part of the Worimi Conservation Lands. “No matter where he is in the world, Andrew ensures everyone he meets knows about our amazing dunes and Port Stephens and that makes him an ideal ambassador,” Mr Eather said.
Accepting the award, Mr Smith said: “This award is really a reflection and recognition of our great team behind Sand Dunes Adventures. It’s a privilege to be part of the Port Stephens tourism industry.”
The award follows Sand Dune Adventures’ win last month at the NSW Tourism Awards as the best provider of Aboriginal Tourism product in the State. Sand Dune Adventures is a not-for-profit enterprise owned and operated by the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council. The company offers quad bike and hummer safari tours on the vast dunes – www.sandduneadventures.com.au .
The second award recipient was Stephens 4WD Tours Marketing Manager, Sean Andrews, who won Destination Port Stephens’ Tony Burrell Enthusiasm Scholarship Award for individuals who display extraordinary passion and enthusiasm for their work. The award, which carries a $1000 prize, is in memory of Tony Burrell who oversaw the debut of quad bikes on the Port Stephens sand dunes in the 1990s.
Mr Andrews started working part time with Port Stephens 4WD Tours while at school and has worked his way through the ranks to achieve significant growth for the company, which offers popular sandboarding and 4WD tours on the dunes – www.portstephens4wd.com.au .
Mr Eather described the two award winners as passionate and highly regarded ambassadors for Port Stephens’ growing $400 million-a-year visitor economy. “Our community has many great ambassadors who continually shout the praises of Port Stephens but the efforts of Andrew and Sean during the past 12 months have been outstanding,” Mr Eather said. “Destination Port Stephens sincerely thanks both for playing a fundamental role in making Port Stephens such a popular, year-round destination