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Why Aussies love animal attractions

Major tourism awards announced

When it comes to our favourite tourist attractions, animals clearly rule the roost.

At a prestigious awards ceremony, the two major winners were both creature-related attractions.

The Australian Reptile Park in Somersby won Gold at the 2023 NSW Tourism Awards. Silver in the ‘Major Tourist Attraction’ category went to Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

Gold in the ‘Tourist Attractions’ division went to the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary.

More than 500 industry representatives gathered to celebrate the winners at a ceremony held at the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Sydney.

“The NSW Tourism Awards celebrate those tourism experiences that inspire visitors to #feelnewsouthwales and recognise those businesses who exemplify outstanding tourism experiences,” said Paula Martin, Executive Director, NSW Tourism Industry Council.

“These businesses provide leadership in innovation, marketing and in the delivery of quality products and services. They also advance and promote the NSW and Australian tourism industry through consistent customer service and quality experiences.”

Ms Martin added that a highlight of this year’s awards was the number of first-time entrants (60), many of whom are new businesses to the sector.

“This level of representation from emerging businesses tells us that innovation is alive and well in tourism and we are proud of the resilience of the sector.”

Crank It Up Festival, Batemans Bay was the recipient of the Judges’ Tourism Star Award’, a special award to reward their tremendous resilience and innovation.

Mt Hay Retreat, Berry was awarded the Tourism Star Award for Sustainability, to recognise their outstanding efforts and practices in sustainability.

Winners will now represent NSW at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Darwin on March 15, 2024.;


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Published: 9 November 2023

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