Gold for Pil­bara tourism ven­ture

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Louise Alling­ham

Ngur­rangga Tours took out gold in the Abo­rig­i­nal and Torres Strait Is­lan­der Tourism cat­e­gory at the 2016 Perth Air­port WA Tourism Awards.

Gold, sil­ver and bronze medals were awarded in 28 cat­e­gories at the gala din­ner in Perth last Satur­day night.

Ngur­rangga Tours owner Clin­ton Walker said he was not ex­pect­ing to win.

“I was re­ally ex­cited and hum­bled and just pretty much speech­less,” he said.

“Ba­si­cally, it means that all our hard work has paid off and we’re get­ting the recog­ni­tion that we de­serve.”

Mr Walker said he saw big things in the fu­ture of the Pil­bara’s tourism in­dus­try.

“Peo­ple have been say­ing there’s noth­ing to see in the Pil­bara for years and I’ve proved them wrong,” he said.

“I see big things for this re­gion and I think mainly be­cause of the strong cul­ture that we have here from an Abo­rig­i­nal point of view that some­thing that other busi­nesses that can ride on the back of.”

Mr Walker thanked his wife, kids, family and friends for their sup­port.

“I couldn’t have done it with­out each and ev­ery one of them,” he said.

The Nin­ga­loo coast also earned top hon­ours at the gala din­ner in Perth, with seven busi­nesses tak­ing home a com­bined nine medals.

The Eco­tourism cat­e­gory was dom­i­nated by Nin­ga­loo busi­nesses with Sail Nin­ga­loo tak­ing home gold, Three Is­lands Whale Shark Dive sil­ver and Nin­ga­loo Dis­cov­ery bronze.

Nin­ga­loo Dis­cov­ery also won sil­ver and Three Is­lands Whale Shark Dive won bronze in Adventure Tourism.

Ex­mouth Vis­i­tor Cen­tre took out sil­ver in Vis­i­tor In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices and Ex­mouth Hol­i­days ac­com­mo­da­tion won sil­ver in Spe­cialised Tourism Ser­vices.

Live Nin­ga­loo and Set the Hook won joint bronze for New Tourism Busi­ness.

Tourism Coun­cil WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Evan Hall said the gala din­ner was a great way to pay homage to the hard­work­ing in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions who helped to shape the in­dus­try.

“Since 1972, the awards have high­lighted the im­por­tant role tourism plays in driv­ing WA’s eco­nomic and com­mu­nity devel­op­ment, recog­nis­ing the busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als who con­tin­u­ally raise the stan­dard of the vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“The level of par­tic­i­pa­tion and the high stan­dard of en­trants in the awards pro­gram re­flects the pas­sion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism seen in the in­dus­try through­out Western Aus­tralia.”

Gold win­ners will go on to to rep­re­sent WA at the national Qan­tas Aus­tralia Tourism Awards in Dar­win next Fe­bru­ary.

Pic­ture: Ngur­rangga Tours

Ngur­rangga Tours owner and guide Clin­ton Walker takes vis­i­tors to the an­cient rock art sites in the Bur­rup Penin­sula.

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