Six of Victoria’s leading tourism and events operators have been inducted into the prestigious, RACV Victorian Tourism Awards esteemed Hall of Fame.
Riverboats Music Festival 2019, Parks Victoria, SkyBus, Bright Brewery, BIG4 Inverloch Holiday Park and Alkina Lodge all claimed Hall of Fame status after winning gold in the same category for three consecutive years.
The RACV Victorian Tourism Awards is the tourism and events industry’s annual event that acknowledges business excellence and performance. Funded by Visit Victoria and hosted by the Victoria Tourism Industry Council, the Awards recognise the outstanding contribution by operators across the state.
Chief Executive Felicia Mariani said, “VTIC is proud and honoured to be entrusted to deliver such an important event for our industry that highlights the innovation and passion our operators exhibit every day in creating magical moments for their visitors.”
Now in its 35th year, there were 126 submissions received across 31 categories, including the new award for Excellence in Accessible Tourism. This category was open to Victorian tourism businesses and attractions that excel in welcoming and servicing people of all abilities. Outdoor attraction, Melbourne Cable Park, took out the honour of receiving this prestigious inaugural award.
“It’s great to see accessible tourism taking a prominent place with Victoria’s tourism operators. Businesses like Melbourne Cable Park who has made inclusive tourism part of its day-to-day delivery, ensure that all our visitors have the chance to experience the amazing offerings of our state,” Ms Mariani said.
This year also saw the introduction of two RACV People’s Choice awards. Voted by the public, with more than 11,000 votes cast, the 2019 winners were Beechworth Lake Sambell Caravan Park, for Best Accommodation; and Living Legends – The International Home of Rest for Champion Horses, who took out Best Tourism Experience or Service.
“It’s wonderful to have the public involved this year bringing a consumer perspective to the Awards. I want to thank RACV for supporting the creation of these categories this year and adding a different dimension to the 2019 program.”
Peter Bingeman, Chief Executive Office of Visit Victoria said, “These awards celebrate the achievements of finalists, winners and the tourism industry for their achievements and innovations over the past year.
“Once again, we have seen fine examples of tourism operators putting the visitor at the centre of everything they do, which strengthens Victoria’s position as a leading global destination.
“Victoria is one of the best places to visit, but it’s our hard-working tourism operators and event owners, who ensure visitors have a memorable experience, that they then share with their families and friends, inspiring further travel.
“Visit Victoria has helped to reach $31 billion in visitor expenditure by supporting local tourism operators, strategically marketing Victoria to a range of audiences and attracting events that make Victoria the sporting and cultural capital of the country,” Mr Bingeman said.
Three categories recognising individuals for their contributions to the industry were also awarded, including:
Anne Jamieson, CEO of Saxton Speakers Bureau for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual.
State Library Victoria for Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers, also winning bronze in the Cultural Tourism category.
Izabelle So, Digital Marketing Officer at Bendigo Tourism, who received the Young Achievers Award.
“These individual awards provide a remarkable opportunity to profile the important work being carried out by members of the industry at all stages of their careers,” Ms Mariani said.
“We congratulate our Gold, Silver, Bronze winners, and all finalists. We wish our Gold winners all the best in representing Victoria at the 2019 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra early next year.”
To celebrate the Gold winners of the 2019 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards, VTIC will be releasing a television commercial on Prime7, highlighting the winners from this year’s awards to inspire travel.