Photo (from left): VTIC Chair Matt McDonald, Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre Coordinator Mark Cuthell, Corangamite Shire Mayor Ruth Gstrein and Tourism Minister Martin Pakula at the awards ceremony.
Timboon has won the silver award in the Top Small Tourism Town category of the inaugural Top Tourism Town Awards.
It was a hat-trick for the Great Ocean Road region, with Port Fairy winning gold and Apollo Bay taking out Bronze.
Mayor Ruth Gstrein congratulated all of the tourism operators in and around Timboon.
“The awards were decided by a combination of judging and popular vote and the result shows Timboon really has a lot of friends across the State.
“Being a finalist shows that Timboon’s friendly, welcoming people make a positive and lasting impression on their visitors.
“We hope that recognition in the awards entices more visitors to come and discover the sights and experiences the area has to offer.”
South-West Ward Councillor Kate Makin said Timboon was held in high regard and performed well against strong competition.
“The Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre and shire tourism team did a great job putting together a really professional submission,” Cr Makin said.
“It included a three-day itinerary showing how much there is for visitors to do in and around the town, and a promotional video featuring the talents of local songwriter, Timboon’s Ciara Fitzpatrick, and videographer, Josh Beames from Cobden.
“We can continue to use these to promote Timboon and the surrounding area.”
“The aim is to stop people just driving through on their way to and from the more famous destinations. We want them to know it’s worth their while to stop in Timboon for a few days—or even more—and explore.
“They’ll love what they find and hopefully come back again.”
The judge said the submission was “packed with flavour and energy” and compelled people to want to visit Timboon.
“Some of the standouts of this video are: the sense of community subtly included in the story, many friendly locals and welcoming businesses, the excitement for visitors and the high quality food and beverage offering.”
It said the itinerary was “outstanding, clear, well presented”.
“It is also creative, fun and full of ideas and choices without overwhelming the reader. Full of unique ideas like the playlist ‘Songs in the Key of Timboon’.”
The video and the three-day itinerary can be found here .
Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism General Manager Liz Price said the trifecta provided recognition in the industry and endorsement from consumers that the Great Ocean Road region one of Victoria’s favourite destinations.
“We are proud of Port Fairy, Timboon, and Apollo Bay for their wins at the Top Tourism Town Awards.
“They are examples of the many destinations in our region that offer a unique appeal to visitors, with strong, resilient communities who passionately support the tourism industry.”
The Top Tourism Town Awards are a new initiative under the Victorian and Australian Tourism Awards process. Hosted by the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC), they reward towns that provide an outstanding visitor experience.
VTIC’s Chief Executive, Felicia Mariani, said it was a great time to showcase the diverse regional destinations Victoria has and the economic impact tourism brings to these towns.
“VTIC would like to congratulate all the finalists in this year’s Awards. This has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone in our industry and achieving finalist status is a real testament to the passion and commitment of Victoria’s regional destinations,” Ms Mariani said.
In the main category, for towns with a population over 5000, the winner Ballarat was followed by Lakes Entrance and Bendigo.