Outstanding tourism businesses from across New South Wales were honoured tonight as the winners of the 2018 NSW Tourism Awards were announced at the Big Top Luna Park, Sydney.

Managed by the Tourism Industry division of the NSW Business Chamber, the state’s peak business organisation, and proudly supported by the NSW Government, the NSW Tourism Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism excellence in NSW.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall congratulated the winners and said they exemplify the high standard and diverse range of tourism experiences on offer in NSW.

“Tourism is big business and it’s a vital industry to our State’s economy so to be recognised at the NSW Tourism Awards is an outstanding achievement and I thank all of the winners for their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to offering the very best tourism and events experiences,” Mr Marshall said.

“The NSW Visitor Economy is the envy of every other State, with the greatest share of domestic and international visitors, visitor nights and expenditure, and an impressive calendar of major events across Sydney and rural and regional NSW.”

The Awards ceremony commenced with the presentation by the Minister of the NSW tourism industry’s highest accolade, the award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to NSW, presented posthumously to Dean Gorddard in recognition of his extraordinary personal and professional contribution to tourism in this state.

Seventy-one award winners were announced in a range of categories including Major Tourist Attractions, Festivals and Events, Destination Marketing and Accommodation. With 125 finalists in 2018, each winner was selected by an independent judging panel for their exceptional contribution to the NSW Tourism Industry.

Four winners were inducted into the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Parkes Shire Council – 2018 Parkes Elvis Festival, Sand Dune Adventures, Lets Go Surfing Australia and Cupitt’s Winery and Brewery who took out top honours in their respective categories for the third year in a row.

NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Cartwright, congratulated this year’s winners for their outstanding performance.

“This year’s winners and finalists should be incredibly proud to be acknowledged as the leading tourism businesses in NSW. NSW has a diverse range of tourism businesses, which is reflected in the entrants and winners in the Awards program.”

“This year has seen a 21% increase in entrants from 2017 and the judges were impressed by the high standard of entries showcasing a diverse array of talent, passion and innovative drive that continues to ensure our state’s tourism industry thrives. Good luck to all winners continuing on to the QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards in March 2019,” Mr Cartwright said.

The winners and the finalists for the Mid North Coast are: