Byron Bay had plenty to celebrate following the 2015 North Coast Tourism Awards on Saturday in its home territory.
Byron Bay stole the lead in the Gold Award tally, with the region’s tourism operators taking home five first place prizes, ahead of the equal silver winners of Coffs Coast and Greater Port Macquarie, both nabbing four awards.
The Manning Valley, represented by award winning Bent on Food, took home two Gold awards in the food and restaurant categories while the Great Lakes led with Gold for Caravans and Holiday Parks, Lismore’s Wollongbar TAFE won the Gold in the Education category and Visit NSW’s State Forests took the Gold for Destination Marketing.
The sold out 2015 North Coast Tourism Awards were held at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa and hosted by television personality, Shelley Craft from reno program “The Block”.
North Coast Holiday Park’s Amber Kolo was the deserved recipient of the Young Achiever Award for 2015, a marketing and communication manager overseeing 24 holiday parks and several reserves.
The Individual Contribution to Tourism award went to Ian Beadle of Big 4 North Star Holiday Resort at Hastings Point that annually brings more than 110,000 bed nights to the Tweed and Northern Rivers.
“There were a number of new contenders for the Tourism Awards this year which is always encouraging for our region’s future success and product mix,” North Coast Destination network executive officer Belinda Novicky said.
“We applaud their initiative and the texture they add to our tourism experiences. It’s clear there are a number of future winners along the coast but this year winners were dominated by well-established names that illustrate the consistency of quality in our region too.”
The Gold Award Winners and their respective categories are:
Adventure Tourism: Let’s Go Surfing Byron Bay
Unique Accommodation: Byron Bay Cottages-Cape Byron State Conservation Area
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Tourism: Arakwal Dolphin Dreaming
Deluxe Accommodation: Apartments Inn Byron Bay
Major Festivals and Events: Byron Bay Bluesfest
Tourist Attractions: Sealy Lookout, Orara East State Forest
Specialised Tourism Services: State Forests of the Coffs Coast
Major Tourist Attraction: The Big Banana Fun Park
Bellingen on the Coffs Coast:
Self Contained Accommodation: Lilypad Luxury Cabins
Greater Port Macquarie:
Cultural Tourism: Port Macquarie Museum
New Tourism Business: Hello Koalas Sculptural Trail
Standard Accommodation: Vacation Village Port Macquarie
Hosted Accommodation: Telegraph Retreat Luxury Cottages
The Manning Valley:
Food Excellence: Bent on Food, Wingham
Restaurants and Catering: Bent on Food Wingham
Caravan and Holiday Parks: Big 4 great Lakes Holiday Park at Forster
Tourism Education and Training: Teach@Wollongbar TAFE