Hawks win tourism flag
HAWTHORN Football Club has added a Tassie tourism prize to its trophy cabinet to sit alongside 13 premiership cups.
The Hawks took out the major festivals and events category at the Tourism Industry Council’s Tasmanian Tourism Awards last night, becoming the first sporting team to do so.
TICT chief executive Luke Martin said he thought the club had become the first national sports team to win a tourism award anywhere in Australia.
“It’s testament to their commitment to not just play good footy, [but] also offer great major events in Launceston,” he said.
A capacity crowd of more than 600 people attended the industry’s night of nights in Hobart, at which Launceston’s Silos Hotel was named the best new tourism development.
The Tasmanian Tourism Awards honoured the most outstanding operators in the sector, with the winners going on to be finalists in the 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, to be announced at Cataract Gorge in March next year.
The awards are designed to measure and recognise outstanding tourism businesses for their approach to customer service, innovation, sustainability and marketing.
“These awards are notoriously difficult to enter and even harder to win, with nominees expected to submit a 12,000-word entry before a site visit and judging,” Mr Martin said.
“It’s fantastic each year in these awards to see new operators emerge and be recognised for their excellence in tourism, alongside some of the best-known tourism icons in the state.”
Port Arthur Historic Site won both the major tourist attraction and cultural tourism categories, Three Capes Track took out the eco-tourism prize, Launceston Airport won the specialist tourism services award and Willie Smith’s Apple Shed was recognised as the best of the wineries, distilleries and breweries tourism operators.
Storm Bay Guest House took out the Mercury People’s Choice award.
It was also a big night for Tasmanian tourism legend Simon Currant from Pumphouse Point, who entered the Tasmanian Tourism Hall of Fame for winning best unique accommodation for the third consecutive year.
He was also named the 2018 Tasmanian Tourism Champion for his 35 years of service and contribution to the industry as a developer, entrepreneur and leader.
“There are few people who you can say truly shaped an industry, but surely Tasmanian tourism over many years has been shaped by Simon Currant,” Mr Martin said.
“Simon’s vision to put Cradle Mountain and Strahan on the map effectively launched nature tourism in Tasmania, and more recently his achievements with Pumphouse Point have been recognised as one of the most outstanding tourism developments not just in Australia, but on a global scale.”
Mr Currant said: “We must be careful to protect what’s unique and special about us.
“We don’t need to change Tasmania because Tasmania changes people.”
Premier Will Hodgman named Jo Youl from Flinders Island his Tourism Minister’s young achiever.
Ms Youl has worked with her fellow islanders to galvanise Flinders Island around a strong destination brand, while at the same time developing her own tourism businesses on the island, including the Taste of Flinders Store and Flinders Island Wharf.