Berrima and Mudgee have been named NSW’s Top Tourism Towns, voted by the public and an industry panel as the top destinations for an outstanding visitor experience.
The Southern Highlands and country NSW favourites today were crowned winners of the inaugural awards by Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres at the Local Government NSW Destination and Visitor Economy Conference underway in Port Macquarie.
“There’s a real buzz about regional NSW right now and with incredible destinations such as Berrima and Mudgee to visit it’s easy to understand why,” Mr Ayres said.
“These vibrant communities with unique visitor experiences, authentic hospitality and world-class tourism operators make NSW the envy of all other states, and the place to be when it comes to regional Australian escapes.
“Regional visitor economies are on the road to recovery, and the Destination NSW and Roy Morgan Weekly Visitor Tourism Tracking Index shows that the total number of visitors across regional NSW is approximately 20 per cent above the where we were at mid-October last year.
“The data also tells us that in the last six weeks alone, interstate travel has risen and 36 per cent of visitors to regional NSW are interstate visitors, up from 23 per cent in mid-February.
“These awards showcase NSW’s strengths, and with the ‘visitor-first’ approach shown by the 52 entrants, the program is a great platform to demonstrate our State is in a fantastic position to be the premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific by 2030.”
Mudgee was praised for its great community spirit and the way it welcomes visitors from far and wide to sample its wines, food and warm hospitality. Historic Berrima was admired for being a beautifully preserved Georgian town with amazing food and friendly people.
The awards are managed by the NSW Tourism Industry Council, and celebrate towns with a population of less than 5000, and a population of more than 5000.
“Tourism Associations, Councils, Local Chambers and Visitor Information Centres collaborated to enter their towns in the awards,” said NSW Tourism Industry Council Executive Manager, Greg Binskin.
“Entrants submitted a short video, itinerary and editorial article which was reviewed by a judging committee of 14 industry experts and it was always going to be very competitive with a field of 52 nominations.
“The public then had their say, with more than 15,000 people casting a vote for their Top Tourism Town.”
Mudgee and Berrima will represent NSW at the inaugural Australian Top Tourism Town Awards to be held Wednesday 25 August at Parliament House, Canberra.