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    GOLD: The Grampians Parks Victoria team celebrate a Victorian Tourism Awards win for the Grampians Peaks Trail in an ecotourism category. Picture: SDP MEDIA

Grampians tourism awards trifecta

By Abby Walter

Grampians attractions and tourism operators have been recognised on the state stage at Victorian Tourism Awards.

The Parks Victoria Grampians Peaks Trail won gold in an ecotourism category.

Tour operators Experience the Grampians won silver in a tour and transport operators category.

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Absolute Outdoors and Grampians Peaks Walking Company won bronze in an adventure tourism category.

Grampians Tourism chief executive Marc Sleeman said it was ‘wonderful’ recognition for operators and tourism partners and the work they do to deliver experiences for visitors.

“Winning gold for the Grampians Peaks Trail is recognition of the long journey and successful outcome of the project,” he said.

“The award further positions the trail as an ultimate and iconic long-distance trail experience. It also acknowledges the work of the Parks Victoria Grampians team who look after the asset we call Gariwerd.”

Mr Sleeman said the silver and bronze awards were commendations to the passionate operators who provided ‘amazing’ experiences in adventure tourism.

“The operators go above and beyond to look after visitors and are working hard, seven days a week,” he said.

“The awards were a trifecta for the Grampians as a destination.

“This highlights all the work behind the scenes to take tourism to the next level and the commitment to creating great experiences.”

Victoria Tourism Industry Council, VTIC, hosts the annual awards, which were presented in Melbourne last week.

Mr Sleeman said it was the night of nights for the industry.

“To be among the best in the state who are doing amazing work in the visitor economy made for a positive atmosphere,” he said.

“We also celebrated the good position the visitor economy is in, with a 64 percent increase in visitor expenditure from the end of June 2019 compared with the end of June this year.

“The Grampians is leading the state in those metrics.

“Four years ago, who would have thought we would be leading the state in visitor spend.”

Mr Sleeman said waterways were a prime focus of a new tourism campaign leading into summer.

“People are looking for a place to connect with nature, and a place to swim, fish and paddle – a water playground,” he said.

“We have Taylors Lake, Lake Bellfield, Lake Fyans and Lake Lonsdale – and they are full.

“Summer is one of the peak tourism periods and the early signs are it looks positive for this season.”

VTIC chief executive Felicia Mariani said the awards showcased some of the most innovative experiences in Victorian tourism.

“Nine hundred tourism and events operators came together at the 2023 Victorian Tourism Awards to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of their teams and the industry as a whole,” she said.

“VTIC is proud to deliver this important event in Victoria that recognises the innovation, passion and professionalism that our operators exhibit every day in creating magical moments for their visitors.

“We want to congratulate our gold, silver and bronze category winners, along with all of this year’s finalists, who are the exemplars of excellence in our industry across the state.”

There were 104 award finalists across 29 business categories.

The entire December 6, 2023 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!