Blue Mountains News
Tourism Operators Achieving Brilliance
Under the theme Achieving Brilliance, Blue Mountains, Lithgow & Oberon Tourism (BMLOT) awarded a record number of gongs to tourism operators and individuals including a lifetime Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award to Fantastic Aussie Tours and Zenith Travel founder John Cronshaw.
The glittering event was hosted by the original grand old dame of Katoomba, the historic Carrington Hotel in the grand dining room, decorated by BMLOT vice chairman Maurice Cooper OAM, and attracted a veritable who’s who of the region’s tourism industry, council and regional politicians.
BMLOT chairman Randall Walker congratulated all finalists on their efforts and assured them that the official regional tourism organisation would do all it could to ensure the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region remained a world-class destination.
``When people say that something’s not able to be done, they’re the people who need to get out of the way and make way for people like you who are already making it happen.’’
Following a moving Welcome to Country by Gundungurra members, Blue Mountains Mayor Daniel Myles encouraged tourism operators that ``no area, no matter how beautiful it is...must rest on its laurels’’.
``We must always change and move with the times.’’
Lithgow Mayor Neville Castle, who was also recognised when the council received the Local Government Award for Tourism, said while tourism was a major part of Blue Mountains history, Lithgow Council had more recently built tourism up in its area as a possible replacement of the coal and power industries.
In reference to James Magnussen’s 0.01 of a second missing out on gold at the London Olympics, Councillor Castle said even to be listed as a finalist was a huge achievement: ``All the people who are here tonight are the very best we have.’’
Blue Mountains State MP Roza Sage, who has had a long-term interest in tourism and not missed a single tourism function, congratulated all finalists working in ``a tough and fickle industry, often at the mercy of market forces beyond your control’’.
``Your ability to reach this level is a testament to your business acumen and efforts,’’ she said.
``Tourism is big business’’ with the Blue Mountains the number one destination in Australia, she said (the region attracts 4 million visitors a year according to NPWS, $489 million expenditure and more than 5100 full-time equivalent jobs according to a 2010 UWS study).
``To sustain and grow the industry it is important the quality, vitality and determination of operators and individuals in the tourism industry are recognised in awards like these,’’ Mrs Sage said.
Stars of the evening included National Parks and Wildlife Service which won two awards (Major Tourist Attraction for Blue Mountains National Park and Heritage & Cultural Tourism Award for Blue Mountains Walking Tracks), Jenolan Caves (Tourist Attractions and Best Tourism Product awards for The Magic of Jenolan, Festivals & Events Award for Carols in the Caves and Ecotourism Award for Ancient Underworld) and the newly revamped Fairmont Resort (Chef Apprentice of the Year, Young Customer Service Employee of the Year and Employee of the Year).
Life’s an Adventure took out two awards again this year (Tour/Transport Operators Award and Adventure Tourism Award).
As well as the Specialised Tourism Services Award, Spa Sublime earned Best Tourism Product, making it the Specialised Tourism Winner for five consecutive years.
Muggadah Indigenous Tours was given the Indigenous Tourism Award; Blackheath Glen Tourist Park the Tourist & Caravan Parks Award and Ambermere Rose Inn the Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services Award.
Blue Mountains Visitors Centres won the Visitor Information and Service Award along with Lithgow City Council (Local Government Award for Tourism).
Silvermere Guesthouse took out the Unique Accommodation Award; the Mountains Heritage Hotel & Spa Retreat the Deluxe Accommodation Award; and Mountain Whispers the Luxury Accommodation Award.
The BMLOT Awards for Excellence 2012 would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Blue Mountains City Council, Lithgow City Council, Oberon Council and Oberon Plateau Tourism Association, NSW Tourism Industry Council, NPWS, Blue Mountains TAFE, BlueMountainsAustralia.com, Destination NSW, Biznet Blue Mountains, Oberon Review, Lithgow Mercury and Blue Mountains Gazette.
The 2012 Tourism Award Winners:
1: Specialised Tourism Services: Spa Sublime
2: Meetings and Business Tourism: The Carrington Hotel
3: Major Tourist Attractions: National Parks & Wildlife Service for Blue Mountains National Park
4: Heritage and Cultural Tourism: National Parks & Wildlife Service for Blue Mountains Walking Tracks
5: Festivals and Events: Jenolan Caves for Carols in the Caves
6: Visitor Information and Services: Blue Mountains Visitor Centres
7: Unique Accommodation: Silvermere Guesthouse
8: Deluxe Accommodation: The Mountain Heritage
9:Tourist Attractions Winner: The Magic of Jenolan, Jenolan Caves
Highly Commended: Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah
10: Tourism Marketing: visitbluemountains.com.au for Win a Bufori and see where it takes you promotion
11: Indigenous Tourism: Muggadah Indigenous Tours
12: Judges’ Award for Quality Product & Community Spirit: Blue Mountains Ukulele Group
13: Chef Apprentice of the Year: Bryan Swadling (Fairmont Resort)
14: Young Customer Service Employee of the Year: Christie Mantzouridis (Fairmont Resort)
15: Young Employee of the Year: Andrea Donaghy (Fairmont Resort)
16: Tour/Transport Operators: Life’s An Adventure
17: Adventure Tourism: Life’s An Adventure
18: Tourism Education and Training: Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School
19: Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services: Ambermere Rose Inn
20: Tourist and Caravan Parks: Blackheath Glen Tourist Park
21: Luxury Accommodation: Mountain Whispers
22: New Tourism Development Winner:The Carrington Cellars & Deli
Highly Commended: Koomurri Aboriginal Centre
23: Ecotourism: Jenolan Caves for Ancient Underworld
24: Local Government Award for Tourism: Lithgow City Council
25: Special Acknowledgement: Robert Reid OAM
26: Customer Service Employee of the Year: Milorad Bubalo (Best Western Alpine Inn)
27: Employee of the Year: Peter Williams (Fairmont Resort)
28: Young Achiever in Tourism: Ben Lancken (Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School graduate)
29: Outstanding Contribution to Regional Tourism: George Bubalo (Best Western Alpine Motor Inn)
30: Outstanding Contribution to Tourism: John Cronshaw (Fantastic Aussie Tours)
Article courtesy Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon Tourism.
This article archived 22 Nov 2012
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