TASMANIAN tourism operators have been named the best in the country at national awards overnight, with the state winning more accolades than any other.
The state is the talk of the national industry, with operators scooping 10 of 29 categories at the Australian Tourism Awards in Adelaide.
Launceston tourism training guru Rebecca King has beaten some of Australia’s largest TAFEs and training providers to win the education and training section for her business Kingthing Marketing.
Port Arthur Historic Site has been judged the best major tourist attraction, ahead of Taronga Zoo and Dreamworld.
The site also took out the heritage tourism category.
Rob Pennicott won four awards for his Bruny Island tours, and was named an official ‘‘legend’’ of the Australian tourism industry.
Launceston Airport won silver for specialist tourism services and James Boag’s Brewery won bronze in the tourism wineries, distilleries and breweries section.
Tourism Industry Council Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin said the results were testament to the operator’s commitment to quality, innovation and excellence.
‘‘The Australian Tourism Awards are extremely competitive, and serve as the barometer for how our leading operators perform against the very best in Australian tourism,’’ Mr Martin said.
‘‘These results show how far we’ve come as an industry when you consider just five years ago we won only a single category, and tonight we have walked with more gold medals than Queensland and New South Wales won combined,’’ he said.
Premier Will Hodgman said the national acclaim was also an ‘‘incredible advertisement’’ for the state, inspiring more travellers to head south.
‘‘Tasmania’s domination on the national stage is due recognition for our excellent tourism industry, which delivers inspiring and inviting experiences that we can now proudly call the best in the country,’’ Mr Hodgman said.
‘‘We have such unique experiences to offer the world, from Par Avion’s air adventures into our unique World Heritage Area to the new gastronomical delights of Rob Pennicott’s Tasmanian Seafood Seduction,’’ he said.
Major Tourist Attraction Category and Heritage Tourism Category: Port Arthur Historic Site
Business Events Category: Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel
Major Tour and Transport Operators Category: Par Avion Wilderness Tours
Education and Training Category: Kingthing Marketing
Regional Tourist Attraction Category and EcoTourism Business Category: Bruny Island Cruises
Best New Tourism Development Category: Tasmanian Seafood Seduction
Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism: Pennicott Wilderness Journeys
Australian Tourism Legend: Rob Pennicott