This year’s NSW Tourism Awards were held on Thursday night at the Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour. The Awards recognize and celebrate excellence in tourism, and this year attracted a record number of 230 entries in 30 categories, all vying for the top awards.
More than 750 people attended the black tie event, which was hosted by Sydney Weekender presenter Mike Whitney. The night brings together the best of the best in the tourism industry, and Broken Hill was well represented by Tri State Safaris (Adventure Tourism and Tour &/or Transport Operator) Eldee Station (Hosted Accommodation) and Bell’s Milkbar (Heritage and Cultural Tourism).
Eldee Station won Bronze in Hosted Accommodation, while Tri State Safaris were announced as Gold winners in the Tour &/or Transport Operator category. They also won the Gold award in Adventure Tourism category for the 3rd successive year, and have now been inducted into the NSW Tourism Hall of Fame.
Following the wins, Tri State Safaris owners Michael and Joanne McCulkin said they were delighted by their success. “To win these awards, and be recognized at this top level is a great honor, and a humbling experience” said Mr McCulkin. “ Our success is due in no small part to our passionate and hard working team, our supporters and the partners we work with. We have great product available, with Broken Hill and Outback NSW in general a great draw card for the consumer.”
The McCulkin’s said that being inducted into the Hall of Fame was a very proud moment. “This is indeed one of the highlights of our 20 years in business. The recognition brings with it an increased awareness of what Broken Hill has to offer the visitor, and we are proud to be able to, yet again, showcase the city to the rest of the world. There is no doubt that tourism plays a vital role in the economic future of Broken Hill, and the Tri State Safaris team are determined to do what we can to see tourism continue to move forward” said Mr McCulkin. “ I would also like to congratulate Eldee Station for their Bronze award and Bell’s Milkbar for their finalist nomination – they deserve recognition for their product and their contribution to local tourism.”
“I look forward to getting back to Broken Hill from Sydney. I am so proud of the fact that we have so much support in town, often being stopped by people we don’t really know that well, just to say well done” said Mrs McCulkin.
Tri State Safaris have notched up an impressive list of awards over a number of years including 6 Gold Awards and Hall of Fame at the Inland NSW Tourism Awards, 2 Silver, 10 Gold and Hall of Fame at the NSW Tourism Awards and 4 Gold Awards at the national Australian Awards. The awards wins have been in the Tour Operator category, Adventure Tourism, Indigenous Tourism, and Eco-tourism categories.
The McCulkin’s now go on to the Australian Tourism Awards in Cairns in March 2012 to represent NSW in both the Tour &/or Transport Operator and Adventure Tourism categories.
In addition to the local winners, the Outstanding Contribution to Regional Tourism by an Individual award was presented to Lori Modde, CEO of Outback NSW Regional Tourism.