Winners of the 2012 Australian Tourism Awards were announced last night at the 2012 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards event in Hobart.
These were the 28th Australian Tourism Awards, the annual celebration of the highest achievements of Australian tourism businesses. Winners were announced from 27 categories covering the many sectors and experiences of a diverse tourism industry.
National Tourism Alliance Chairman, John Hart, congratulated all finalists and winners. “We recognise and applaud the many businesses who continue to demonstrate excellence in servicing the needs and exceeding the expectations of both domestic and international visitors – you are living examples of the finest of quality tourism experiences in Australia.”
Stephen Thompson, Executive Manager Global Sales, Qantas, announced the winner of the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism.
‘As a company committed to actively managing its operations and growth in a sustainable manner, Qantas is pleased to support the award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism. Qantas continues to look at ways to reduce its environmental impact and this award recognises those Australian Tourism Operators who set out to do the same. We congratulate Pennicott Wilderness Journeys on winning the award this evening,” Mr Thompson said.
The national Outstanding Contribution Award by an Individual was won by Simon Currant AM, from Tasmania. Simon has earned a national reputation as an innovator with visionary thinking and leadership, particularly in the areas of responsible and sustainable tourism.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy commended the finalists and category winners for their collective effort in delivering “world’s best” tourism experiences in Australia.
“Tourism is Australia’s largest services export industry and when combined with the domestic travel market contributes $96 billion annually to the national economy,” Mr McEvoy said.
“Currently we are seeing continued growth in both international and domestic tourism and maintaining our world class tourism offering, through consistent quality and the highest standards of service, is critical to the ensuring Australia’s ongoing desirability as a world class tourism destination.
“The products and services offered by the operators recognised in this year’s Tourism Awards are the frontline of the Australian tourism experience and are critical to delivering on our marketing promise of why there truly is nothing like Australia – I personally commend them for their outstanding efforts,” Mr McEvoy said.
Over 850 industry leaders and operators attended the event, with an audience including the Federal Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, the Premier of Tasmania, The Hon Lara Giddings MP and state and territory tourism ministers.
Guests feasted on Tasmanian produce and wines, coordinated by Tourism Industry Council Tasmania and produced by Federal Group chefs from Wrestpoint, Saffire Freycinet and the Henry Jones Art Hotel.
Entertainment was provided by Iva Davies and Paul Gildea of the iconic Australian band ICEHOUSE.
Charles Wooley hosted the evening ,with Jo Palmer from Southern Cross News and Ben Milbourne from the 2012 Masterchef series.
The Australian Tourism Awards are owned and managed by the National Tourism Alliance (NTA) on behalf of the Australian tourism industry.