Tourism busi­nesses fi­nal­ists in awards

Pilbara News - - Business - Court­ney Fowler

■ North West tourism has once again drawn high ac­co­lades, with more than 15 lo­cal busi­nesses nom­i­nated as fi­nal­ists in the Western Aus­tralian Tourism Awards.

The WA Tourism Awards are WA’s most pres­ti­gious industry awards, recog­nis­ing ex­cel­lence within the State’s world class and highly di­verse tourism industry.

Nin­ga­loo tourism fea­tured heav­ily in the list of fi­nal­ists, in­clud­ing Ex­mouth Vis­i­tors Cen­tre, Ex­mouth Hol­i­days, Char­ter 1, Sail Nin­ga­loo, Yardie Creek Boat Tours and Three Is­lands Whale Shark Dive.

Ex­mouth Vis­i­tor Cen­tre’s nom­i­na­tion comes in the wake of their re­cent win in the Tourism Coun­cil of Western Aus­tralia’s 2015 GWN7 Top Tourism Awards.

Ex­mouth Vis­i­tor Cen­tre gen­eral man­ager Kristy Bryan-Smith said the WA Tourism Award nom­i­na­tion high­lighted the ex­tra­or­di­nary hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ences and high level of ser­vice vis­i­tors could ex­pect when vis­it­ing the Nin­ga­loo coast.

“Our en­tire team here at the Ex­mouth Vis­i­tor Cen­tre is ex­tremely hon­oured to have re­ceived this nom­i­na­tion, which re­flects the five-star cus­tomer ser­vice our cen­tre pro­vides for vis­i­tors to the Nin­ga­loo,” she said.

“The Nin­ga­loo is one of this coun­try’s pre­miere eco-ad­ven­ture des­ti­na­tions, of­fer­ing vis­i­tors a di­verse range of truly un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ences on land, air and sea. In achiev­ing this nom­i­na­tion, the Ex­mouth Vis­i­tor Cen­tre is proud to be able to draw recog­ni­tion of this fact.”

Fur­ther south, Shark Bay Ocean Park Aquar­ium also re­ceived two nom­i­na­tions in the Best At­trac­tion and Eco­tourism cat­e­gories.

Fa­ther and son Rick and Ed Fenny have spent the past 14 years de­vel­op­ing the fa­cil­ity in Shark Bay from a small aqua­cul­ture cen­tre, to a con­ser­va­tion and marine park that at­tracts more than 70,000 tourists a year.

Pil­bara-based owner Dr Rick Fenny said af­ter win­ning the tourism at­trac­tion cat­e­gory in 2014, he was de­lighted to see Ocean Park recog­nised for a sec­ond year in a row.

“The WA Tourism awards are fan­tas­tic for putting Shark Bay and the North West on the map,” he said.

“Th­ese kinds of at­trac­tions are so im­por­tant for tourism be­cause they at­tract peo­ple to the re­gion, who in turn end up spend­ing dol­lars with lo­cal busi­nesses in the re­gion.

“We would even­tu­ally like to recre­ate a sim­i­lar fa­cil­ity some­where be­tween Dampier and Cos­sack in the Pil­bara.”

Tourism op­er­a­tors in the Kim­ber­ley also turned heads, with fi­nal­ist nom­i­na­tions go­ing to Wil­lie Creek Pearl Farm, Ar­gyle Di­a­monds, Ord Val­ley Muster, Cable Beach Club Re­sort & Spa, Kim­ber­ley Wild Ex­pe­di­tions, Kim­ber­ley Air Tours, Aus­tralia’s North West Kim­ber­ley Bucket List and Matso’s Broome Brew­ery.

The Western Aus­tralian Tourism Awards win­ners will be an­nounced in Perth on Novem­ber 14.

All win­ning tourism busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions will then go on to com­pete in the Aus­tralian Tourism Awards.

Pic­tures: Rick Fenny Group

The team from Shark Bay Ocean Park Aquar­ium won the gold award at the 2014 WA Tourism Awards.

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