Local tour operator Tri State Safaris has enjoyed great success at the 2010 CountryLink Inland NSW Tourism Awards which were held at the Temora Aviation Museum on Saturday night. The Inland NSW Tourism Awards are open to tourism businesses in the Outback, New England/North West, Central West and Riverina.
In a first for the awards, Tri State Safaris were announced winners of three categories including the Tour and Transport Operator category, Eco-tourism category and the Energy Efficiency Award.
The Eco-tourism award recognises ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation. The Tour and/or Transport Operator category recognises a significant contribution to tourism through the provision of tour guiding services. The Energy Efficiency Award is an environmental award that acknowledges the achievements and commitments shown by organisations in improving their energy efficiency.
According to Tri State owners Michael and Joanne McCulkin winning three awards is a huge thrill. “ Coming back after an absence of two years from the Inland Awards Hall of Fame gave us some anxious moments leading up to the announcement as our competitors have had a chance to improve on their entries. So it was great excitement all round when our name was called out for the first award win” Mrs McCulkin said. “When we won the second category we were over the moon. We certainly didn’t expect the third win, but feel very gracious that the judges thought us worthy”
According to Mr McCulkin the Eco-tourism and Energy Efficiency Awards were particularly pleasing. “We have a team of very dedicated staff who are passionate about educating our customers about the benefits of protecting the areas we visit and we have put a great deal of effort into reducing our businesses carbon footprint especially through reducing our energy use and wasteage. Whilst we live and work in the red outback we have a green heart” said Mr McCulkin.
Tri State Safaris will now go on to enter the NSW Tourism Awards which are to be held in Sydney in November.
As well as attending the awards ceremony over the weekend, Tri State Safaris staff also attended the Sydney Retirement Expo to encourage further visitation to Broken Hill and the outback region.