Broken Hill based tour operator Tri State Safaris were announced as winners of the Tour and Transport category at the 2010 Australian Tourism Awards, which were held in Perth on Friday night the 11thMarch. Mutawintji Eco Tours, which is also operated by Tri State Safaris took out the Indigenous Tourism category, giving the local tourism business a double win for the night. They were also a finalist in the Adventure Tourism category. The 26th Australian Tourism Awards are the tourism industry’s biggest and most prestigious event of the year, with 1000 people attending the gala night. Finalists from every state and territory competed in 27 categories to receive one of these prestigious awards.
The Awards are a submission and inspection-based competition and provide the opportunity to publicly acknowledge and showcase Australia’s finest tourism operators. The Awards process aims to encourage the continual raising of standards and recognise and reward excellence. Tri State Safaris have won an Australian Award on two previous occasions, in 2006 and 2007. The local tour operator has also had continued success with wins in 3 categories in both the NSW and the Inland NSW Tourism Awards in 2010, making them the most highly awarded tour operator in the country. “This award is a great credit to our entire team, and in particular the passion of our guides who provide inspiring experiences to engage our visitors,” said Tri State Safaris owner Michael McCulkin.
“The win highlights Tri State Safaris role as a significant national tourist operation. Far too often regional businesses are overshadowed by our big city competitors, so we are particularly proud to be putting Broken Hill on the map, to remind people that we are a world class destination in our own right. We have the product and experiences to prove it. And to be recognised for our contribution to Australia’s tourism industry is a great honour,” said Mr McCulkin.
According to co-owner of Tri State Safaris, Joanne McCulkin, this past few months has presented a number of challenges. “With well above average rainfall throughout the outback, many businesses have suffered from a decline in visitor numbers due to road closures. There appears to be a higher than expected level of interest in the area for the coming year and that is a is very positive outlook”, said Mrs McCulkin. Tri State Safaris have been operating in Broken Hill for almost 20 years. They conduct a diverse range of tours from local Broken Hill sight seeing day trips and extended tours to areas including the Flinders Ranges, the Kimberley, Cape York and Central Australia.