RACV Tourism Awards 2016 winners

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2016 Victorian Tourism Awards’ winners announced

A range of Victorian tourist attractions have been honoured in the 2016 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.

Attractions ranging from luxurious natural hot springs to woollen mills and hot air balloons were recognised on Thursday 24 November at a ceremony at Palladium Crown in Melbourne.

The awards are designed to encourage businesses to exceed industry standards and to highlight innovation and initiative. They are supported by major sponsor RACV, the Victorian Government and the Victoria Tourism Industry Council and include 32 categories.

People's Choice awards
As part of the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards, Victorians were asked to vote for their top metropolitan and regional tourist spot in the People’s Choice awards.

Sovereign Hill in Ballarat won the Regional People's Choice award and Melbourne Zoo won the Metropolitan People's Choice award.


RACV Victorian Tourism Awards winners

Sovereign Hill, which won the People’s Choice Award for best regional attraction, also won the Major Festivals and Events category for Christmas in July. Sovereign Hill has entered the Hall of Fame for Major Tourist Attractions after winning for three consecutive years.

There were two other Hall of Fame winners. The Cultural Tourism category was won by Bendigo Tramways and the Tour and Transport Operators category was won by Global Ballooning Australia.

Individual awards

The Young Achiever’s Award went to Andrew Cyples for his dedication and work at the Queen Victoria Market. Andrew has been instrumental in growing the visitation at QVM from the inbound market after recognising a gap in the market. Through Andrew’s work, the market now holds contracts with some of the largest inbound tour operators and wholesalers.

The Outstanding Contribution by an Individual went to John McGaw for his work with the Official Visitor Guides and Map. John has been integral in growing this publication from its original form to a 152-page, quarterly publication with a print run of more than one million copies per annum. John is a loyal and dedicated sales person who has contributed to many facets of the industry.

RACV member discounts and offers

RACV offers member discounts to many Victorian tourist attractions including several winners from this year’s awards.

Major Tourist Attractions: Sovereign Hill
Cultural Tourism: Bendigo Tramways
Tour and Transport Operators: Global Ballooning Australia

GOLD Award winners
Tourist Attractions: Creswick Woollen Mills
Ecotourism: Peninsula Hot Springs

SILVER Award winners
Major Tourist Attractions: Puffing Billy Railway
Major Festivals and Events: Christmas in July - Sovereign Hill
Tour and Transport Operators: Murray River Paddlesteamers, Echuca
Adventure Tourism: Go Ride a Wave
Luxury Accommodation: RACV Torquay Resort
Excellence in Food Tourism: Rich Glen Olive Estate
Cultural Tourism: Port of Echuca Discovery Centre

BRONZE Award winners
Major Tourist Attractions: Phillip Island Nature Parks
Cultural Tourism: Cape Otway Lightstation
Caravan and Holiday Parks: RACV Cobram Resort

Tourist Attractions: Shepparton Motor Museum and Collectibles
Tour and Transport Operators: Walk Melbourne Tours

All category winners

Major Tourist Attraction: Sovereign Hill (Hall of Fame)
Tourist Attractions: Creswick Woollen Mills
Cultural Tourism: Bendigo Tramways (Hall of Fame)
Tour and Transport Operators: Global Ballooning Australia (Hall of Fame)
Major Festivals and Events: Australian Grand Prix Corporation
Festivals and Events: Queenscliff Music Festival
Ecotourism:  Peninsula Hot Springs
Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism: Worn Gundidj @Tower Hill
Specialised Tourism Services: SkyBus
Visitor Information Services: Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visitor Information Centre Network
Business Event Venues: Holmesglen at Eildon
Major Tour and Transport Operators: Bunyip Tours
Adventure Tourism: Auswalk Walking Holidays
Destination Marketing: Bendigo Art Gallery & Twentieth Century Fox present Marilyn Monroe
Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services: Masons of Bendigo
Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries: Pizzini Wines
Caravan and Holiday Parks: BIG4 Beacon Resort (Hall of Fame)
Hosted Accommodation: Harmony Bed and Breakfast
Unique Accommodation: All Seasons Houseboats
Self Contained Accommodation: Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate
Standard Accommodation: Cave Hill Creek
Luxury Accommodation: Drift House (Hall of Fame)
Deluxe Accommodation: Royal Mail Hotel
New Tourism Business: The Wellness Manor
Excellence In Food Tourism: Green Olive at Red Hill (Hall of Fame)
Tourism Education and Training: Melbourne Tourism Industry Leaders Program
Local Government Award for Tourism: Nillumbik Shire Council
Young Achiever's Award: Andrew Cyples
Outstanding Contribution by an Individual: John McGaw
Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers: Puffing Billy Railway
People's Choice (Metropolitan): Melbourne Zoo
People's Choice (Regional): Sovereign Hill

Written by Jessica Hirst
November 25, 2016