The National Gallery of Australia has taken out the Major Tourist Attractions award at the 2014 Canberra and Capital Region Tourism Awards gala presentation held at the Canberra Theatre Centre last Wednesday night.
The awards celebrate an industry that is worth $1.8 billion annually and employs over 17,000 Canberrans.
The National Gallery of Australia is home to Australia’s national art collection and the world’s largest collection of Indigenous Australian art, a changing schedule of world-class exhibitions, and public and educational programs and events.
Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre received the Tourist Attractions Awards – the 10th consecutive year in which they have received this Award. Questacon engages and inspires people of all ages and lets them experience science in extraordinary ways. With more than 200 hands on exhibits, Questacon has tourists discovering the smarter way to have fun.
The Award for Ecotourism went to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Nestled at the base of the Tidbinbilla mountain ranges and only a 40 minute drive south of the city centre, Tidbinbilla is recognised as a place to bring interstate and international visitors to show the variety of native animals, including kangaroos, emus, koalas, platypus and many bird species.
The National Library of Australia’s Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia exhibition took out the Major Festivals and Events category. Held over 17 weeks through summer 2013-14, visitors flocked to view the world’s greatest maps, atlases, globes and instruments, many of which had never before been seen in the Southern Hemisphere.
Described as ‘five days in a perfect world’, the National Folk Festival won the Festivals and Events category for their 2014 event. The Festival is a multi-day celebration with Australian and International performers across 16 venues, over 100 food and market stalls, street performers, dance, KidsFest, themed bars and craft workshops.
Hotel Realm was the recipient of the Luxury Accommodation Award. Part of the award-winning Realm Precinct, Hotel Realm is a resort-style destination, which actively contributes to the local hospitality, accommodation and tourism sector.
Recently celebrating its first birthday, Hotel Hotel was awarded the New Tourism Development Award. Hotel Hotel, nestled in the Nishi building in NewActon, offers 68 rooms dressed with carefully chosen artworks, objects and restored furniture. The vision of Nectar and Johnathan Efkarpidis, the hotel celebrates Australian design, art and craftsmanship.
Canberra Airport took home the Award for Specialised Tourism Services. The elegant new Canberra Airport enhances the tourism offering of the Canberra region. Locally designed and built, and featuring world-class artwork, the airport reflects the style and originality of Canberra and surrounds.
Yass Valley Council took home the Local Government Award for Tourism. Yass Valley Council takes a leadership role in supporting the development, management and marketing of tourism for Yass Valley. Working closely with VisitCanberra and Inland NSW Tourism, they promote the region’s products and experiences and assist the industry in maximising the value of tourism in Yass Valley and the broader Canberra region.
The Capital Region Farmers Market received the Excellence in Food Tourism Award. Located at Exhibition Park in Canberra, this weekly market attracts 6,000 – 10,000 people each week, including local Canberrans, interstate and international visitors, who have the opportunity to interact, learn and buy seasonal and regional produce from over 150 food producers. The market has become a hallmark destination food experience in the Canberra region.
Three Awards for Visitor Experience were awarded with Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Four Winds Vineyard and Bungendore Wood Works Gallery acknowledged.
The Visitor Experience Award is based on results from outrate.com.au which collates feedback from visitors. Results are also provided to businesses so they can monitor and improve their performance and visitor experience offering.
Recently retired Director of the National Gallery of Australia, Dr Ron Radford AM, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual Award.
Two Young Achievers were also acknowledged at the Awards. Events ACT’s Laura Raine and University of Canberra final year student Megan Rodd were both presented with the Young Achiever Award acknowledging their contribution to the development of a vibrant and professional tourism industry in Canberra and the region.