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Golden night for the Hunter at NSW Tourism Awards

Release Date: 23/11/2018
Hunter tourism operators Sand-Dune-Adventures won four Gold awards and were inducted into the Hall of Fame in a glittering night for the region at the NSW Tourism Awards at Luna Park on Thursday.
Moonshadow – TQC Cruises, Margan Winery and Restaurant, Port Stephens 4WD tours and Sand Dune Adventures all won Gold awards in their categories while
Sand Dune Adventures was one of four winners inducted into the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame, after taking out top honours in the Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category for the third year in a row.
Margan also picked up a Bronze category award, as did Oakvale Wildlife Park and Hunter Valley based Beyond Ballooning, which was recognised in two categories.
Managed by the Tourism Industry division of the NSW Business Chamber, the state’s peak business organisation, and supported by the NSW Government, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism excellence in NSW.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall congratulated the winners and said they exemplified the high standard and range of tourism experiences on offer in NSW.
“Tourism is big business and it’s a vital industry to our State’s economy so to be recognised at the NSW Tourism Awards is an outstanding achievement and I thank all of the winners for their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to offering the very best tourism and events experiences,” Mr Marshall said.
Hunter Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said the achievements of regional operators reflected the growing stature and diversity of the Hunter tourism industry.
“It’s fantastic to see a business like Margan’s leading the state in the highly competitive Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services category and we had a particularly strong showing in the Tour and Transport Operator categories, with Moonshadow, Port Stephens 4WD tours and Beyond Ballooning all winning awards.
“Sand Dune Adventures has been a consistently high performer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category and their Hall of Fame induction was well-deserved.”
The full list of Hunter winners is as follows.
 Sand Dune Adventures (Gold Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism and Hall of Fame)
 Moonshadow Cruises (Gold Major Tour and Transport Operators)
 Port Stephens 4WD tours (Gold Major Tour and Transport Operators)
 Margan Winery & Restaurant (Gold Tourism Restaurants and Catering, Bronze Excellence in Food Tourism)
 Beyond Ballooning (Bronze Tour and Transport Operators and Bronze Adventure Tourism
 Oakvale Wildlife Park (Bronze Tourist Attractions)
Seventy-one award winners were announced across a range of categories including Major Tourist Attractions, Festivals and Events, Destination Marketing and Accommodation. With 125 finalists in 2018, each winner was selected by an independent judging panel for their exceptional contribution to the NSW Tourism Industry.
The four winners inducted into the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame were Parkes Shire Council – 2018 Parkes Elvis Festival, Sand Dune Adventures, Let’s Go Surfing Australia and Cupitt’s Winery and Brewery.
All winners continue on to the QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards in March.

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