Port Stephens businesses were on a hot streak at the NSW Tourism Awards with four returning home with awards, and one with Hall of Fame honours.
Gold awards went to Moonshadow-TQC Cruises (major tour and/or transport operator), Sand Dune Adventures (Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism) and Port Stephens 4WD Tours (tour and/or transport operators) while Oakvale Wildlife Park won bronze for tourism attract for a second year.
“These tourism operators are so very worthy of this recognition and acknowledgement,” Destination Port Stephens CEO, Eileen Gilliland, said.
“These awards highlight the strength of the tourism operators in our region and their talent, passion and innovative drive.”
Moonshadow-TQC’s business development manager, Elyss Larkham, said it was “such an honour” to be recognised by the industry.
“Our team works very hard every day to ensure the business continues to improve and to deliver above and beyond our customers’ expectations,” she said.
“In the past 12 months we have gone from strength to strength and to make it to finalist at the NSW Tourism Awards was a great achievement but to win gold; that’s just the icing on the cake.”
The Port Stephens 4WD Tours team was wrapped with the win.
“Having such a passionate team working for us makes everyone’s job easier, we know our customers are getting the best experience possible and receiving this award is a true testament to our hard work and approach to providing a top-quality experience,” marketing manager Sean Andrews said.
Sand Dune Adventures, run by the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council, had a big night at the awards, announced in Sydney on November 22.
It also claimed silver for adventure tourism and was awarded the Hall of Fame for having won the Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category for the past three consecutive years.
BIG4 Karuah Jetty Holiday Park was a finalist in the caravan and holiday parks category.
The gold award winners will now move into the Australian Tourism Awards, to be held in March 2019.