SHOALHAVEN businesses starred at the South Coast Tourism Awards, claiming 13 of the 28 gold, 10 silver and five bronze awards.
More than 250 people attended the presentation evening at The Batemans Bay Soldiers Club on Wednesday.
One of the highlights of the evening was Silos Estate, at Jaspers Brush, being inducted into the South Coast Tourism Awards Hall of Fame after winning the gold award for Best Regional Winery, Brewery or Pub for each of the past three years.
Silos again went on to win gold, claiming the same award for a fourth straight year.
Silos owners Rajarshi and Sophie Ray said being inducted into the Hall of Fame was great recognition for their hard working team.
“We have owned the Silos for seven years and we have a great team and it is wonderful for them to be recognised in this way,” Mr Ray said.
“It caps a big year for us – we were also accepted by Emirates this year.
“The awards are a wonderful way to recognise the many South Coast tourism operators.
“Of all the people nominated for awards, we do business with 50 per cent of them.”
South Coast Tourism Organisation executive officer Tom Phillips said tourism contributed $2.1 billion a year to the South Coast economy and directly employed more than 19,700 people.
“These awards allow the best of our tourism industry to show off what they can do and to demonstrate to the world at large that the tourism product here on the South Coast of NSW is second to none,” he said.
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash congratulated the businesses who tasted success, saying she was proud to see the local industry recognised for its commitment to innovation and high service levels.
“The evening again demonstrated why the Shoalhaven remains the most visited local government area in NSW outside of metropolitan Sydney,” Cr Gash said.
“The Shoalhaven tourism industry is one of the main drivers of the local economy responsible for injecting over $630 million annually into Shoalhaven City.”
Indigenous Tourism – Galamban Extraordinary Aboriginal Experience, Wreck Bay, Jervis Bay Territory.
Regional Winery, Brewery or Pub – Silos Estate and Wileys Creek, Berry.
Marketing and Promotion – Discover Jervis Bay, Jervis Bay.
Tour and/or Transport Operators – Dolphin Watch Cruises, Huskisson.
General Tourism Service or Product – Daisycare Nanny Agency, Bomaderry.
Tourism Retailing – Kangaroo Valley Fudge House and Ice Creamery, Kangaroo Valley.
New Tourism Development – Trees Adventure, North Nowra.
Accommodation – Holiday Letting – Escape@Culburra, Culburra Beach.
Accommodation – Holiday Letting Services – Jervis Bay Rentals, Huskisson.
Hosted Accommodation – Mollymook Beach Waterfront, Mollymook.
Unique Accommodation – Barrengarry Boutique Farm Cottages, Kangaroo Valley.
Family Friendly Award – Burrill Lake Tourist Park, Burrill Lake.
Adventure Tourism – Walking On Water, Ulladulla.