Margaret River region wins big at WA Tourism Awards

The region’s top tourism operators have been recognised for their innovation and commitment to excellence at the industry’s premier awards.

Busselton Jetty, CinefestOz Film Festival, Cape to Cape Explorer Tours and Sandalford Wines all won gold at the 2018 Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards.

Busselton Jetty was recognised in the Major Tourist Attraction category, while CinefestOz was named the Festivals an Events category winner.

The iconic timber jetty and its team beat out Fremantle Prison and Crown Perth for the honour of being the state’s top attraction.

CinefestOz Film Festival toppled Perth’s 2018 Caravan and Camping Show, and Broome’s Shinju Matsuri.

Cape to Cape Explorer Tours was the winner of the Ecotourism category, beating out Live Ningaloo and Rottnest Island.

Cape to Cape Explorer Tours managing director Gene Hardy said the team was stoked with the win.

“Ecotourism is at the very heart of what we do, and the whole team pride ourselves on contributing both to our precious community and making a positive impact on the natural environment,” he said.

Sandalford Wines claimed gold for Excellence in Chinese Tourism and also took out gold in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category.

Leeuwin Estate was awarded with silver.

Pullman Bunker Bay rounded out the South West winners, with silver in the Luxury Accomodation category.

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said council was enormously proud of the accolades received by recipients at the awards. 

“We will continue to support tourism and related businesses, events and infrastructure as a mainstay of our local economy,” he said.

In a joint statement, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association joint chief executive officers Sharna Kearney, Steve Harrison and Cinde Fisher congratulated the Margaret River region award winners.

“The Margaret River region wouldn’t be the desirable destination it is without the people behind it, working fervently to provide unforgettable tourism experiences every day of the year. It is absolutely fantastic to see this recognised amongst such a high calibre of professionals,” they said.

“We would also like to commend Harvest Tours and Wine for Dudes who were finalists in their fields along with Gene Hardy of Cape to Cape Explorer Tours, a finalist for the FACET Golden Guide Award.”

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said WA’s diverse range  of tourism businesses, was reflected in the entrants and medallists in the awards program. 

“Each and every year, the judges are impressed by the commitment to continuous innovation and improvement displayed by entrants – a testament to the great work being done by tourism operators, big and small,” he said.

The gold medallists will go on to represent WA at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards on March 1.