Hawks win tourism flag

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT -

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.

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