2016 Award Winners

Congratulations to everyone who entered the 2016 Canberra Region Tourism Awards.

Winners and commendations were presented to:

Tourist Attractions

Winner: Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre

Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre is one of Canberra’s leading tourist attractions located on the scenic shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Questacon welcomes over 450,000 visitors annually, including more than 130,000 students from across Australia. A shop, café and over 200 exhibits located over four levels, visitors experience a world of wonder where they can immerse themselves in free-falling down a six metre slide, wrapping their minds around intriguing science concepts or challenging a robot to a game of air hockey. No visit is complete without watching, or even starring in one of our Spectacular Science Shows!

 

Major Festivals and Events

Winner: National Museum of Australia – Encounters Exhibition

The National Museum of Australia is the place where our stories come alive. Located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, the National Museum’s stunning architecture offers visitors an extraordinary place to explore the rich and diverse stories of our country and our people.

From the historically significant to the intriguing, the National Museum’s collection consists of more than 200,000 objects. It includes the heart of legendary Australian racehorse Phar Lap, fascinating large objects such as the Depression-era saw doctor’s wagon, and the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings.

Commendation: Floriade 2015, EventsACT

Staged annually in Commonwealth Park over 30 days from mid-September, Floriade’s display of one million blooms makes it the largest floral festival in the southern hemisphere. Yet Floriade is much more than a flower show. A program featuring music, culture, food and wine, workshops, markets, entertainment and five spectacular night openings makes it a truly immersive spring experience. A 2015 attendance of 480,451 provided a platform for showcasing the best of the Canberra region and delivered a $47 million economic benefit. Floriade engenders great pride in the local community and positively shapes Canberra’s identity on the national and international stage.

 

Festivals and Events

Winner: 2016 National Folk Festival

Described as “five days in a perfect world” Canberra’s multifaceted National Folk Festival is the ultimate celebration of all things folk. Boasting some of Australia’s top music acts alongside international headliners the program designed to inspire, enliven and entertain. From high-end entertainment to the expression of folk-life through grassroots activities the Festival’s choose your own adventure scenario allows patrons the freedom to explore and experience the Festival’s many attractions. From traditional and contemporary grooves to the quirky and the endearing it features all the key elements that make people want to come from everywhere to be part of it.

 

Cultural Tourism

Winner: Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint is the birthplace of the coins that Australians spend, save and collect on a daily basis. Visitors come from far and wide to see the coins of yesterday on display, and to marvel at the humans and robots that make the coins of tomorrow. 2016 has been a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of decimal currency, highlighted by our road trip around the country. In large cities and tiny towns, Australians have participated in our travelling events to shop, swap and stamp special mementos of this amazing year.

Commendation: Canberra Museum and Gallery, Cultural Facilities Corporation

Canberra Museum and Gallery, or CMAG, is Canberra’s very own museum and gallery.

It provides authentic insights into the Canberra region’s diverse history, contemporary culture and global connections to around 100,000 visitors a year, more than 60% of whom are tourists from outside of the ACT.

CMAG has more than doubled visitation in recent years and has gained national and international acclaim for the outstanding quality of its exhibitions, and its community and education programs.

CMAG is a regional leader in cultural tourism that is already admired by locals and is fast gaining the attention of a national and international audience.

 

Specialised Tourism Services

Winner: Canberra Airport

As Australia’s newest international gateway, Canberra Airport’s evocative elegance enhances the tourism promise of the national capital region. Designed and built by locals, with an emphasis on stunning landscapes and spaces punctuated with world-class artwork, the airport reflects the design style, originality and natural assets of Australia’s burgeoning ‘capital of cool’. Only seven minutes from world-class cultural institutions, less than two hours from stunning natural wonders, Canberra Airport lives up to its vision of becoming the world’s best small airport and sets the tone for what to expect from the world’s best manmade city and its dynamic and diverse region.

Commendation: ExperienceAIS, Australian Sports Commission

The AIS Campus in Canberra is internationally renown as Australia’s premier elite sports precinct and the training camp location-of-choice for many Olympic and World Champion athletes. It is also a vibrant retail, tourism, sporting, business event and entertainment precinct now being marketed under the banner ExperienceAIS. This innovative marketing approach, co-operatively delivered with key industry stakeholders, drives greater commercial visibility and outcomes for the products, services and venues at the AIS. We welcome everyone to visit, stays, shop, dine, be entertained, learn, train and ExperienceAIS.

 

Visitor Information Services

Commendation: Yass Valley Information Centre, Yass Valley Council

The Yass Valley Information Centre located on the northern outskirts of the Australian Capital Territory in Yass NSW provides information and services to visitors travelling in and around the Canberra region.

Providing a comprehensive range of information from printed guides, websites, social media sites and of course the dedicated team at the Information Centre who can assist with the latest “What’s on!” unique enquiries, booking and discovering hidden gems!

Working closely with industry, surrounding local government areas, Destination NSW and Visit Canberra the team at the Yass Valley Information Centre are dedicated to enriching the visitor experience.

 

Business Event Venues

Winner: National Convention Centre Canberra

Australia’s multi-awarded National Convention Centre Canberra is purpose built for conferences, meetings and events. The Centre is recognised as the leading mid-sized venue in Australia, delivering innovative food and personalised service. More importantly the delegates contribute in a 12 month period, more than $60.6 million to the local economy, including accommodation, restaurants, and other experiences.

One hundred percent of our customers surveyed say they would hold their next conference or event in Canberra at the National Convention Centre.

Being a responsible business by supporting our community, managing risk and reducing our impact on the environment is a key focus.

 

Destination Marketing

Winner: 3inFun Tourism Marketing Partnership Program – Experience Canberra

3inFun is a co-operative tourism partnership between three iconic Canberra attractions: Questacon — The National Science and Technology Centre; the Australian Institute of Sport; and Cockington Green Gardens.

Since 1999, 3inFun has evolved to become a market leader in integrated tourism products, and is now an even more value–packed and compelling offering that promotes Canberra as a getaway destination.

With the additional of a new innovative destination marketing identity, ‘Experience Canberra’, the 3inFun message was delivered to key VisitCanberra market segments via family-focused campaigns throughout the year.

 

Unique Accommodation

Winner: Jamala Wildlife Lodge

As close as you can get to living with wild animals, yet as far as can be from canvas lodgings, Jamala Wildlife Lodge located in Canberra’s National Zoo and Aquarium lives up to its reputation as the world’s most luxurious zoo hotel. Offering unprecedented in-room and award-winning on-site animal encounters, Jamala gives guests ‘a 5-star room with a zoo’ allowing them to bathe in view of a bear, feed a giraffe from their balcony, lounge with lions, or watch tropical fish from their four-poster bed. Jamala Wildlife Lodge sets a new and fabulously ferocious standard in global accommodation.

Commendation: Yarrangobilly Caves House, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Yarrangobilly Caves House is located in the picturesque Yarrangobilly Valley, in the northern edge of Kosciuszko National Park. Guests of the House revel in the wonder of a bygone era in lovingly restored heritage accommodation; perfect for conferences, family gatherings and romantic getaways. There are two main sections of Yarrangobilly Caves House: the 1901 single storey section containing the east and west wings that provide a private self-contained home experience, and the 1917 double storey section, which has 11 rooms and offers a self-catering hotel-style experience.

 

Deluxe Accommodation

Winner: East Hotel

East Hotel is a 4.5 star apartment style hotel that opened it’s doors on the 15th August 2012. EAST is located between the vibrant shopping and restaurant hubs of Kingston and Manuka and is minutes from the Parliamentary Triangle and standout National Attractions. EAST is focused on providing its guests with a memorable Canberra experience, far beyond their often limited and preconceived expectations. EAST does this itself in being the leader in ‘new design’ hotels in Canberra and in showcasing the side of Canberra that, when discovered, becomes greatly coveted.

 

Luxury Accommodation

Winner: Hyatt Hotel Canberra – A Park Hyatt Hotel

Step into an undiscovered world where old traditions entwine effortlessly with new beginnings – a world with firm handshakes and unwavering smiles. A world that is Canberra’s finest international hotel, Hyatt Hotel Canberra – a Park Hyatt Hotel.

This Heritage hotel interweaves the hidden mystique of the 1920s with modern Art Deco design. With 252 rooms & suites, you escape within a heritage-inspired setting with traditional furniture styles, garden and park views all enhanced with sleek technology. Hyatt Hotel Canberra with its Park Hyatt touches proves this luxurious hotel is second to no other.

 

New Tourism Business

Winner: Little National Hotel

The nation’s capital welcomed a new hotel experience in 2015, Little National Hotel, Barton, an affordable luxury hotel which sees no compromises, offering a highly tailored and beautiful product in a great location. It recognises that there is a community of travellers that seek a hotel which provides the essentials of accommodation, but at a new price. Little National Hotel has been remarkably well received by visitors and industry professionals recognising this style of accommodation has the potential to redefine the hospitality and tourism industry in Australia.

 

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

Winner: Professor Graham Durant AM

Questacon’s Director, Professor Graham Durant is a leader in the Canberra visitor economy, encouraging his dynamic workforce to drive science engagement through creative tourism products, aimed at inspiring future generations of Australians. Graham’s leadership of the millennium Glasgow Science Centre project in the UK highlighted the importance to him of a flourishing visitor economy with quality attractions at their heart. Graham’s personal commitment to quality scientific content accessible to all through an engaging and exciting tourism product has empowered Questacon to work across the Canberra tourism industry to create a National Capital that excites, inspires and speaks to all.

 

Tourism Education and Training

Winner: Canberra Institute of Technology

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) is the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and surrounding region’s largest registered Vocational Education and Training provider. CIT has been established for 88 years, and is renowned for its excellence in quality training and contemporary authentic learning facilities.

CIT delivers specialised tourism courses including: travel and tourism, hotel and resort management, hospitality, event management, and is the number one provider of choice in the ACT and region.

CIT works collaboratively with numerous industry partners complementing the professional standards of the industry.

 

Tourism Visitor Education

Winner: Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint welcomes school students from around the country to learn the hidden stories of the nation’s coins. Our tour guides take students on a journey that begins with the coins of yesterday, featuring tales of pirates, convicts, shipwrecks and gold rushes. As they learn about how our coins illustrate and reflect the Australian story, they jump ahead to the future, where robots are making tomorrow’s coins before their eyes. In the past year, our new online resources have taken coin-based education to classrooms around the country, where our message is always ‘right on the money’.

 

Markus Gibson-Huck Young Achiever Award

Winner: Kate Landford

Kate Landford is the Business and Tourism Officer at Questacon. Kate is dedicated, energetic and passionate about tourism and has made a number of strategic contributions to the regional tourism industry through her inspiring work at Questacon. Her contribution includes delivering large scale events resulting in increased inbound visitation to the region and identifying opportunities for Questacon to further support the regional and national tourism industry. Kate is also a University of Canberra School of Management alumnus who continues to support and mentor students studying tourism in Canberra by providing professional development and industry experience opportunities.

Commendation: Leon Yogaraj

Leon Yogaraj is a Front Office Manager at Doma Hotels. Leon moved to Australia in 2007 as a student and started his career in the hotel industry as a steward in Melbourne. Leon’s dedication and strong work ethic has seen him work across a variety of hotel departments from Food & Beverage, Guest Services, IT and now Rooms Division. In addition to his role at Doma Hotels, Leon is also Vice President for the Canberra chapter of AICR Australia, the International Association for Deputy Managers and Front Office Managers for Luxury Hotels where he mentors young hoteliers.

 

Visitor Experience Award

Winner: Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint is the birthplace of the coins that Australians spend, save and collect on a daily basis. Visitors come from far and wide to see the coins of yesterday on display, and to marvel at the humans and robots that make the coins of tomorrow. 2016 has been a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of decimal currency, highlighted by our road trip around the country. In large cities and tiny towns, Australians have participated in our travelling events to shop, swap and stamp special mementos of this amazing year.

 

International Ready

Winner: ExperienceAIS, Australian Sports Commission

The Australian Institute of Sport. The AIS. Australia’s premier elite sports precinct. A place that cannot be found anywhere else in Australia.
The AIS campus in Canberra, now marketed under the banner of ExperienceAIS, is a diverse precinct offering a variety of sports products, facilities and services. It is also a uniquely integrated and vibrant tourism, retail, sporting, business event and entertainment precinct that plays an integral role in helping grow Canberra’s emerging visitor economy and, unlike many iconic sports training venues around the world, we welcome everyone to ExperienceAIS, opening our doors to more than 500,000 Australian and overseas visitors.

Commendation: Casino Canberra

A very different Casino Canberra was unveiled in June 2016 when Aquis Entertainment reopened its flagship venue following a $14m refurbishment. The new casino boasts an entirely new gaming floor, international standard VIP gaming facilities, the first ever live stadium gaming experience in the ACT and a range of new spaces including the stunning Chandelier Bar, Onyx Lounge and critically acclaimed Natural 9 restaurant headed by globally renowned executive chef Chad Ogden. The Lotus Room completes the offering with a new sports bar and poker lounge upstairs. The new Casino Canberra is ready to welcome the world.

Commendation: National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia is the place where our stories come alive. Located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, the National Museum’s stunning architecture offers visitors an extraordinary place to explore the rich and diverse stories of our country and our people.

From the historically significant to the intriguing, the National Museum’s collection consists of more than 200,000 objects. It includes the heart of legendary Australian racehorse Phar Lap, fascinating large objects such as the Depression-era saw doctor’s wagon, and the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings.

View the results of the Tourism Awards from 2000 to 2015.