The Hunter Region won gold, silver and bronze at the annual Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Darwin last week.
Margan Wines & Restaurant, at Broke, won the highest honour for Excellence in Food Tourism for the second time, having previously taken home gold in 2014. Sand Dune Adventures came second in the Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category and Château Élan at The Vintage took home bronze for Business Events Venue.
The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards is the tourism industry’s premier awards event and recognises outstanding industry achievements across 25 categories. The awards draw together more than 800 tourism business representatives from across the country along with federal and state tourism ministers, CEOs of state and regional tourism bodies and tourism industry leaders.
Margan’s win was a testament to its popular restaurant, agri-dining focus and vineyard and wine tasting operations, as well as its food experiences which range from cooking schools to kitchen garden tours.
“It’s a privilege and honour to receive this award as it recognises the focus we have at Margan on delivering an excellent food and wine experience here in the beautiful Hunter Valley, Australia's oldest and most visited wine region,” Lisa Margan told the Newcastle Herald.
“We give huge credit to our team at Margan who share our passion, vision and commitment to excellence.
“Australia has many quality food and wine regions, all doing great things, and these national awards are therefore very competitive. We are proud to fly the flag for NSW and for the Hunter whose food and wine scene gets better every year.”
This latest award for Margan adds to its already impressive list of accolades: SMH Good Food Guide – One Chef Hat 2016; Andrew Margan – Viticulturist of the Year 2015; Winner – Best Winery, NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame; Winner – Excellence in Food Tourism, NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame; Winner –Excellence in Food Tourism, Australian Tourism Awards 2014 and 2016; Winner – Hunter Valley Cellar Door of the Year 2013; 5 Star Winery James Halliday Wine Companion 2009-2017.
The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciob MP, congratulated the 25 winners and more than 200 finalists for their dedication to Australia’s tourism industry.
“Australia’s export tourism industry is now more valuable to the national economy than coal or rural exports,” he said.
“The continued passion and commitment from the hard-working Australians honoured at the awards is crucial to further growth and attracting more visitors to Australia.”