Kimberley tourism dominates State awards

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Australia's North West with their gold award for Destination Marketing.
Camera IconAustralia's North West with their gold award for Destination Marketing. Credit: Pictures: The Scene Team, The Scene Team

Kimberley tourism has continued to shine on the State stage with industry operators and campaigns winning big at the 2019 Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards.

Among the winners was Australia’s North West’s Magic Kimberley marketing campaign, which took out the gold medal for Destination Marketing.

The video featured Kununurra locals Steve and Judy Farquhar as grey nomads Michael and Denise and their comedic journey across the Kimberley in a caravan.

ANW chief executive Natasha Mahar said winning the award was “icing on the cake”.

“It takes a lot of hard work delivering a successful destination marketing campaign, so much research, activation, alignment then evaluation,” she said.

“With so much competition in destination marketing, we needed our campaign to connect with the core audience. We wanted to create something authentic and funny — a series of short videos that were typically Aussie and that everyone could relate to.

“It was a sweet victory for the entire team for this campaign to be recognised with the gold gong!”

With so many Kimberley-based tourism operators recognised at the awards ceremony, Ms Mahar also gave kudos to the “dedicated operators”.

“It’s these people, the experiences they offer and how they make visitors feel is why the Kimberley is on everyone’s bucket list and why we are trying to turn desire into action,” she said.

“It’s a privilege that my job is to promote this incredible part of the world.”

Last year’s WA Tourism Hall of Fame inductees Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures continued their success with gold medals in Tourist Attractions and Unique Accommodation for a fourth consecutive year.

Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures owner Troy Thomas said he was very happy Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures had continued to kick goals and hoped to achieve the same success at the national awards.

“We have won a few gold awards at the Australian Tourism Awards in previous years so hopefully we can make it into the Hall of Fame next year,” he said.

“Receiving so much recognition really highlights the quality of our product but there will still be some exciting times ahead for us next season.”

Other tourism companies that enjoyed continued success included Kununurra Country Club Resort for Deluxe Accommodation, Kimberley Wild Expeditions for Major Tour & Transport Operators, and Kimberley Quest, who took out gold in Tour & Transport Operators and silver in Unique Accommodation for a successive year.

Kimberley Wild Expeditions’ Jen Bird said winning gold for Major Tour & Transport Operators for a second year in a row felt amazing.

“I didn’t expect the win because there were so many amazing operators nominated for that award,” she said. “I think the big Kimberley representation at the awards was fabulous, we have extraordinary operators up here and having so many of these amazing operators win these awards really recognises how great Kimberley tourism is.”

In a statement, Kimberley Quest said winning their respective awards for the second year in a row was a “fantastic way to top off 25 years cruising the magnificent Kimberley coastline”.

Other tourism companies acknowledged included HeliSpirit, which won silver for Major Tour & Transport Operators, Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, which won bronze for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism, and Kimberley Air Tours, which won bronze in Tour & Transport Operators.

Gold medal winners will go on to represent Western Australia at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra on March 6, 2020.

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