Melbourne’s iconic Royal Botanic Gardens has won top honours at the prestigious 2019 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards, the 36-hectare oasis on the CBD fringe acknowledged as the state’s premier major attraction.
Bendigo flew the flag for regional Victoria, taking home awards for cultural tourism (Bendigo Tramways) and destination marketing (Bendigo Tourism for Bendigo Art Gallery’s ‘Tudors to Windsors’ portrait exhibition).
Other notable winners included: Tesselaar Tulip Festival (Silvan) – Major Festivals and Events; Alkina Lodge (Wattle Hill) – Luxury Accommodation; Live Wire Park (Lorne) – New Tourism Business; Hawkes Vegetables and Farm Store (Boneo) – Food Tourism; and horse racing’s Living Legends (Bulla) – People’s Choice Award.
Adventure Park Geelong at Wallington won in the tourist attraction (significant visitor numbers) category, WaterMaarq Ocean Adventures in Blairgowrie for adventure tourism, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park (Pearcedale) for Ecotourism and Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism.
Echuca’s Riverboats Music Festival, supported by the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Regional Events Fund, entered the Awards Hall of Fame as winner of the Festivals and Event category for a third consecutive year.
Bright Brewery, Alkina Lodge, BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park, SkyBus and Parks Victoria were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Tourism in Victoria is worth $26.7 billion to the state’s economy. Further underlining the sector’s importance, the visitor economy supports 232,700 jobs, including more than 85,000 in regional Victoria.
Victoria’s regional and metropolitan tourism operators are being backed by major promotional campaigns Your Happy Space and A Twist at Every Turn respectively, as well as a pipeline of tourism infrastructure projects to support the growing number of visitors to the state.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 committed an additional $36 million to help attract more visitors to Victoria.
For the full list of 2019 RACV Victorian Tourism Award winners, go to victoriantourismawards.com.au.
As stated by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“Victorians know how amazing our state is and so do the visitors who come here by the thousands from across Australia and around the world.”
“We’ve got so many top operators who make this such a great place to visit – our winners this year range from farm-gate providores on the Mornington Peninsula to providers of slip-line thrills at Lorne.” “It’s fantastic to see an old favourite, the Royal Botanic Gardens, recognised as our top major attraction.”
As stated by Regional Tourism Special Advisor and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas
“Bendigo deserves special plaudits for its double act at these prestigious awards, which for 30 years have showcased and recognised the state’s leaders in tourism excellence.”