Tourism businesses finalists in awards
■ 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.
The team from Shark Bay Ocean Park Aquarium won the gold award at the 2014 WA Tourism Awards.