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Victoria’s Tourism Industry Celebrated At The RACV Victorian Tourism Awards

November 18, 2015 Accolades No Comments Email Email

image004The spotlight was on Victoria’s leading tourism businesses tonight at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards’ gala ceremony hosted by Tim Campbell at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Now in their 31st year, the awards recognise excellence in the industry and assist in the ongoing quest for exceptional tourism and events offerings in Victoria. Winners across 33 categories were announced to great applause from over 900 industry guests.

For the first time in 2015, the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) managed the awards on behalf of the Victorian Government resulting in an event run by the industry, for the industry. In a show of quality and dedication from the industry, VTIC received 122 entries that included 10 recognising individuals.

Erin Joyce, Acting Chief Executive of VTIC and VEIC spoke passionately about the awards and Victoria’s $21 billion tourism industry as a whole. “To manage the 2015 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards is an absolute privilege for the Victoria Tourism Industry Council as we showcase and celebrate the high standard of business excellence across the state with a magnificent range of products and services represented”, she said.


Master of ceremonies, Tim Campbell

A panel of independent judges determined the 2015 award winners and commented that the 2015 entries were of an exceptionally high calibre, with 77 entries receiving a score of 75% or more, automatically putting them into the finalist category. The popular RACV People’s Choice Awards received over 8,000 votes with Favourite Metropolitan Attraction awarded to the Melbourne Zoo and the Favourite Regional Attraction awarded to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. 2015 also saw the introduction of a new category, Self Contained Accommodation which was claimed by Aquabelle Apartments in Rye.

Seven 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. 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival (for Major Festivals and Events)
  2. Leisure Options (for Specialised Tourism Services)
  3. Searoad Ferries (for Major Tour and Transport Operators)
  4. Enchanted Adventure Garden and Tree Surfing (for Adventure Tourism)
  5. Stillwater at Crittenden (for Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services)
  6. Crown College (for Tourism Education and Training)
  7. Space Hotel (for Backpacker Accommodation)

Kathryn Mackenzie, Executive Manager Tourism at the City of Greater Bendigo, was presented the award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual for her tireless work promoting the historic Goldfields town and surrounding villages.

A selection of images from tonight’s gala ceremony can be downloaded from – Quick Selects 2015 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards

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Kathryn Mackenzie accepts the award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

The complete winners list is as follows:

RACV People’s Choice – Favourite Metro 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

Gold:                Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

Silver:             Phillip Island Nature Parks, Phillip Island

Bronze:            Puffing Billy Railway, Belgrave

Finalist:            Melbourne Museum, Melbourne

 Tourist Attractions sponsored by Town Square

Gold:                Kryal Castle, Ballarat

 Major Festivals and Events sponsored by Public Transport Victoria

Gold:                2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival (Hall of Fame)

Silver:             Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Show, Melbourne

Bronze:            Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

 Festivals and Events sponsored by Prime 7

Gold:                Fun4Kids Festival, Warrnambool

Silver:             2014 Maryborough RACV Energy Breakthrough

Bronze:            Shepparton Festival

Finalist:            Grampians Grape Escape

Finalist:            2015 Alexandra Truck Ute and Rod Show

 Ecotourism sponsored by Grand Ridge Brewery

Gold:                Peninsula Hot Springs, Fingal

Silver:             Eco-Logic Education & Environment Services, Aireys Inlet

 Cultural Tourism sponsored by Museum Victoria

Gold:                Bendigo Tramways, Bendigo

Silver:             Port of Echuca Discovery Centre, Echuca

Bronze:            Creswick Woollen Mill, Creswick

 Specialised Tourism Services sponsored by City of Melbourne

Gold:                Leisure Options (Hall of Fame), Melbourne

Silver:             Business Events Victoria, Melbourne

Visitor Information Services sponsored by Parks Victoria

Gold:                Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visitor Information Centre Network

Silver:              Sunbury Visitor Information Centre

Bronze:            Echuca Moama Visitor Information Centre

Finalist:            Greater Shepparton Visitor Centre

Business Event Venues sponsored by City of Melbourne

Gold:                Yarra Valley Estate, Dixons Creek

Major Tour and Transport Operators sponsored by Rochford

Gold:                Searoad Ferries, Queenscliff (Hall of Fame)

Silver:              AAT Kings, Melbourne

Bronze:            Microflite Helicopter Services, Moorabbin

Tour and Transport Operators sponsored by Destination Melbourne

Gold:                Global Ballooning Australia, Richmond

Silver:             Wildlife Coast Cruises, Cowes

Bronze:            Walk Melbourne Tours, Melbourne

Finalist:            Horseback Winery Tours, Main Ridge

Finalist:            Hidden Secrets Tours, Melbourne

Adventure Tourism sponsored by Chatterbox Marketing

Gold:                Enchanted Adventure Garden and Tree Surfing, Arthurs Seat

(Hall of Fame)

Silver:             Auswalk Walking Holidays, Victoria

Bronze:            Go Ride A Wave, Anglesea

Finalist:            Extreme Watersport, Rosebud

Destination Marketing sponsored by Webfirm

Gold:                Wine Food Farmgate, Mornington Peninsula

Silver:             Geelong Reinvented

Bronze:            Grampians Tourism

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services sponsored by William Angliss Institute

Gold:                Stillwater at Crittenden, Dromana (Hall of Fame)

Silver:             Donovans Restaurant, St Kilda

Bronze:            The Woodhouse, Bendigo

Finalist:            Polperro, Mornington Peninsula

Finalist:            The Avoca, Avoca

Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries sponsored by Visit Victoria

Gold:                Pizzini Wines Cellar Door, Whitfield, King Valley

Silver:             Bright Brewery, Bright

Caravan and Holiday Parks sponsored by Victorian Caravan Parks Association

Gold:                Big4 Beacon Resort, Queenscliff

Silver:             RACV Cobram Resort, Cobram

Bronze:            BIG4 Riverside Swan Hill, Swan Hill

Hosted Accommodation

Gold:                Harmony Bed and Breakfast, Fingal

Unique Accommodation

Gold:                All Seasons Houseboats, Mildura

Silver:             Gisborne Peak Winery Eco-Cottages, Gisborne South

Self Contained Accommodation

Gold:                Aquabelle Apartments, Rye

Silver:             Isabella at Kyneton, Kyneton

Standard Accommodation

Gold:                Jetty Road Retreat, Gippsland

Silver:             Cave Hill Creek, Grampians

Bronze:            Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens, Melbourne

Deluxe Accommodation

Gold:                Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway, Wangaratta

Luxury Accommodation

Gold:                Drift House, Port Fairy

Silver:             RACV Torquay Resort, Torquay

New Tourism Business sponsored by Prime 7

Gold:                Y Water Discovery Centre, Yea

Silver:             Piper St Food Co, Kyneton

Bronze:            Holmesglen at Eildon – Rural Learning Centre & Conference Retreat, Eildon

Finalist:            twistED – science at play, Echuca Moama

Finalist:            Exceptional Phillip Island Area Tours, Phillip Island

Excellence in Food Tourism sponsored by Visit Victoria

Gold:                Green Olive at Red Hill, Red Hill

Silver:             Simply Tomatoes, Boort

Bronze:            Rich Glen Estate, Yarrawonga

Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism

Gold:                Yarra Valley Estate, Dixons Creek

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual (VIC) sponsored by Qantas

Gold:                Kathryn Mackenzie, Bendigo Tourism

Tourism Education and Training sponsored by VECCI

Gold:                Crown College, Melbourne (Hall of Fame)

Local Government Award for Tourism sponsored by VECCI

Gold:                Corangamite Shire Council, Great Ocean Road

Silver:              City of Melbourne – City Activation – International Aids Conference Cultural Program, Melbourne

Backpacker Accommodation sponsored by Yarra Trams

Gold:                Space Hotel, Richmond (Hall of Fame)

Silver:              Melbourne Central YHA

Young Achievers Award sponsored by Visit Victoria

Gold:                Matthew McDonald, Searoad Ferries, Queenscliff

Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers sponsored by Visit Victoria

Gold:                Melbourne Airport Customer Care Program, Tullamarine

The winners of categories 1 – 26 of the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards will go on to the national level Australian Tourism Awards with winners announced on Friday 5th February 2016 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Postcards will air an RACV Victorian Tourism Awards special on Channel 9 on Sunday 22nd November featuring a number of award winners including Hot Springs (Mornington Peninsula), Sovereign Hill (Ballarat), Puffing Billy (Belgrave), Enchanted Adventure Gardens & Tree Surfing (Arthurs Seat) and Pizzini Wines (Whitfield).

For more information about the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards visit

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