Busselton has taken out the Tourism and Business Planning award against a competitive field of entrants at the 2016 GWN7 Top Tourism Awards, announced at the WA Tourism Conference last night.
The honour recognised the collaboration of stakeholders in formulating a strategic approach to increasing tourism visitation, dispersal and spend in Busselton.
Projects noted by the judges included the establishment of the new single Local Tourism Organisation (LTO), the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA), the development of a new regional brand, Your Margaret River Region, the expansion of the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport to facilitate direct flights from the East Coast, and the growth in events for the town.
Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association CEO, Pip Close, said it was particularly pleasing to be recognised in the Tourism and Business Planning category, as this had been a key area of focus over the past two years.
“We are absolutely thrilled to see Busselton recognised in this category at the awards.”
“Building a top tourism destination requires everyone to be working together, and I have no doubt that Busselton’s success was a result of strong local partnerships that have been forged to grow the region’s tourism potential,” said Ms Close.
Busselton was competing with 10 destinations from across the state in the awards, which recognise the achievements made by visitor centres.
The rigorous judging process required the MRBTA to complete a 30 page written submission and a half-day site inspection with a judging panel.
Ms Close thanked MRBTA’s staff and members, the City of Busselton, the Chamber of Commerce and local residents who she said all work hard to attract and welcome visitors.
“Special mention needs to be made of our members and volunteers who gave up their time to wow the judges at the site inspection,” said Ms Close.
Busselton narrowly missed out on the Top Tourism Town Award (population over 5000), with Geraldton taking out the honours.