IT’S no overstatement to say that the Hawkesbury cleaned up at the Greater Western Sydney Tourism Awards at Doltone House, Sylvania Waters, on July 19.
Three separate businesses won their categories, and new accommodation business Cornwallis House on Cordners Lane at Cornwallis took out the overall Westlink M7 Greater Sydney Champion Award.
Our other winners were Windsor International Sand Sculpting Competition which took out best festival and event, The Sebel Resort and Spa Hawkesbury Valley in Windsor, which was the best deluxe accommodation, and The Richmond Club which was named best registered club.
The awards were a boost for tourism in the Hawkesbury, with the event organisers for the sand sculpting event from Heart of the Hawkesbury describing the win as a “huge success”.
Michael Milman was chair of HOH during the event this year and said he was thrilled to see the event take out the prestigious tourism award.
“People like Troy Myers, Sue Wingate, Alan Eagle, Pat Salgado, Kate Richmond and Damien Tomlinson worked tirelessly, as well as our many volunteers, to stage an event worth $500,000 that attracted more than 40,000 tourists to the Hawkesbury and injected more than $2.2 million into the local economy,” Mr Milman said.
“The event itself shocked many who attended – most people expected to see sand castles but what they found was artistic merit.” Richmond Club CEO, Kimberley Talbot said the night was not only a wonderful result for the club but also a great result for Hawkesbury tourism in general.
“The residents of our region know that the Hawkesbury is a quality tourist destination, and we now have the recognition to show we are amongst the industry’s best at selling that to our visitors,” Ms Talbot said.
“Being personally involved in a number of initiatives over the past year, including the International Sand Sculpting Competition and Hills Hawkesbury and Riverlands Tourism (HHART), I know the level of commitment and passion that people in the Hawkesbury have for developing local tourism.
“The success at the awards night is testament to their dedication and hard work.”
Chairman of Greater Sydney Tourism, Paul Page, congratulated the winners and said the event recognised the businesses in the Greater Sydney area that were faced with the hard task of competing with city locations and businesses.
NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation, Graham Annesley said the award also provided an opportunity for the wider community to get behind their favourite businesses by voting for the People’s Choice Award.
“We are extremely lucky to have so many exceptional tourism businesses located within the 34 local government areas that make up Greater Sydney,” Mr Annesley said.