Presented tonight via a virtual ceremony broadcast live to an audience of over 650 industry guests tuning in from across NSW. The celebrations were amplified by the smiles and the acceptance speeches streamed live into homes and workplaces in a covid-safe manner.
“The NSW Tourism Awards are a celebration of the outstanding resilience and innovative spirit demonstrated by our magnificent industry over the past two years,” said NSW Tourism Industry Council Executive Manager, Greg Binskin.
“It’s been an extremely challenging period for the NSW visitor economy and after a break in 2020, the return of the NSW Tourism Awards demonstrates the renewed energy of the visitor economy and celebrates the people, places and the vibrant culture of our feel-good state”.
“The Tourism Awards categories recognise the broad range of services and experiences across the broader visitor economy”.
“It is impressive to see the number of operators and regions who made the most of lockdowns and restricted travel to build new visitor experiences and worked together to attract domestic visitors,” Mr Binskin said.
“The 2021 awards showcase NSW’s ‘visitor first’ approach and our strengths in digital innovation, high-quality product and collaborative efforts.
“These awards are managed by the NSW Tourism Industry Council, supported by Business NSW, and in partnership with the NSW Government and Destination NSW and celebrate our industry’s path to recovery, re-energising and unifying all who are working hard to build back better,” Mr Binskin said.
“I am immensely proud of all finalists of the 2021 NSW Tourism Awards, who have shown remarkable professionalism and dedication over an incredibly difficult period to deliver the best possible outcomes for the NSW tourism industry,” said NSW Minister for Tourism, Stuart Ayres.
“The winners have shown a particular commitment to excellence, and I congratulate them for their innovation and perseverance that these awards represent.
“The NSW Government is committed to supporting tourism operators and events that create jobs, boost regional economies and position NSW as a global destination.
“We thank you for your outstanding contributions over the past 12 months and look forward to working together to achieve our goal of making NSW the premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific,” Mr Ayres said.
Sierra Escape, Mudgee and Riverside Holiday Resort Urunga were inducted into the prestigious NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame, for taking out top honours in their respective categories, Unique Accommodation and Self-Contained Accommodation for the third year in a row.
Ruth Sandow, Chair of Milparinka Heritage & Tourism Association was awarded the Dean Gorddard Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to NSW in recognition of her dedication over the past 25 years to tourism in Corner Country, NSW. Milparinka has an average population through the year of 4, 2 at its lowest, 6 at its maximum. Yet Ruth’s programs have over 100 volunteers that become part of the community in the peak season. Milparinka would not be welcoming 20,000 visitors a year if it wasn’t for Ruth. She understands that by building Milparinka as a destination, all of Corner Country benefit and in 2020 she was successful in a monumental project, known as “Sturts Steps”, that has linked the whole region together and set it up for tourism success.
Recipient of the Young Achiever Award, Hugh Sutherland, Instructor with Blue Mountains Climbing School was recognised for his passion as an outdoor guide and educator who has high aims for the industry as a whole that is beyond just the areas he and his employers benefit. Hugh has devoted considerable effort and energy in furthering and supporting the NSW and Blue Mountains Adventure tourism guiding industry through mentoring young guides and contributing to recent developments towards generating an outdoor industry employment award.
Eden Visitor Information Centre, The Sapphire Coast; Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and Simpson Cottage, Bundeena were the recipients of a new accolade awarded by the Judges, ‘Tourism Star Award’ to acknowledge their tremendous resilience shown in response to floods, bushfires and COVID-19.
Winners in the designated national award categories will represent NSW at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, 18 March 2022.
Click here for a full list of this year’s NSW Tourism Awards winners by category.