Canberra Region Tourism Awards 2017

17 November 2017

The Canberra Region Tourism Awards is an annual showcase of the best and brightest in an industry that has grown exponentially, continues to boost our economy, target new markets and seeks to pursue better visitor experiences for a city that has been called the third hottest destination in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet.

 We know that already, and have done for years while still eschewing the annoying label that blames ‘Canberra’ for everything that is wrong with government and politicians.  

We’ve come a long way in the 32 years of these awards and with the Chief Minister reminding us that a target of $2.5 billion by 2020 in the visitor economy is achievable, it’s going to be the entrepreneurs, innovators and those prepared for hard yakka and creative thinking who will help drive the development of more visitor experiences.

So as Canberra forges ahead with development of the light rail network, in 2018 we’ll see the first cricket Test match at Manuka Oval, a second international airline starting operations and exponential growth and refurbishment of the inner city and some of the best wine and food experiences in the region, everything augurs well for the future.

The 2017 Canberra Region Tourism Awards was themed with an aboriginal decor. The menu distinctly Australian bush food with warrigal greens, bush spiced kangaroo filet, wild barramundi and wattleseed pavlova among the flavours and regional wines and beers that are among our best. And the local Wiradjuri Echoes lead by Duncan Smith welcomed all to country.  

Host Kevin Kropinyeri brought his unique personality and perspective to proceedings as a star of the Indigenous performing arts and a regular at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, his banter about life as an Aboriginal Australian was funny and refreshingly candid.

The winners were familiar icons of the tourist trail with the NGA, Questacon and the NMA among the big winners. The brand new Vibe Hotel at the Canberra Airport won for deluxe accommodation,  the Hyatt Hotel for Luxury accommodation and Jamala Lodge at the National Zoo and Aquarium for Unique Accommodation, but I’ll be checking out Pie Time in the Southern Highlands next June as the winner of the destination marketing category.

As locals we take for granted what our city offers in visitor experiences, exhibitions, festivals and the many and varied markets, but together these events bring us tourist opportunities that are boosting our economy and selling the city to the world. That’s why we love it.