Mark Eggleton, Qantas Australian Tourism Awards: Victoria, Tasmania are big winners, The Australian, 8 February 2016
Victoria and Tasmania were the big winners at last night’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Melbourne. They picked up 17 of the 26 awards between them, including Major Tourist Attraction for Victoria’s Sovereign Hill and the Tourist Attraction prize for Tasmania’s Bruny Island Cruises.
The awards come at the beginning of what promises to be an interesting year for the tourism sector. At the same time as tourism chiefs tout the number of Chinese visitors surpassing one million over the last year, the Chinese economy is slowing. On the other hand, a low Australian dollar should herald increased visitor numbers from other markets and see more Australians decide to holiday at home. Bearing this in mind, the sector is priming itself for a bumper year.
Away from the coast, another big winner last night was Sovereign Hill at Ballarat. One of the nation’s most-loved attractions, the outdoor museum picked up the award for Major Tourist Attraction. Covering 25ha of a former gold mining site, Sovereign Hill brings the gold rush to life through a living township filled with costumed characters, 1850s-style shops, schools and dwellings. Visitors can descend into a mine, take a coach ride or watch liquid “gold” being poured into ingots.
Federal Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck says strong growth is predicted in the sector over the next decade, with the industry on track to reach the target of between $115 billion and $140 billion in overnight visitor expenditure by 2020 (from $107 billion in 2014-15).
And the Australian Tourism Award winners are:
Major Tourist Attractions
- Sovereign Hill, VIC
- Port Arthur Historic Site, TAS
- Taronga Zoo, NSW
- Bruny Island Cruises, TAS
- Questacon, ACT
- Daintree Discovery Centre, QLD
Major Festivals & Events
- 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival, VIC
- Floriade 2014, ACT
- MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2015, TAS