Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : November 25 2015 Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2015 - PAGE 11
2015 Tourism & Hospitality Awards
The elated crew of Wildlife Coastal Cruises celebrate their Silver award, in the Tourism and Transport category, at the recent 2015
RACV Victorian Tourism Awards held in Melbourne. Pictured left to right, Mel Gibson, Mikala Peters, Rachael Martin, Paul Mannix,
John Dickie, Tania Fraser, and Margaret and Phil Martin. This trophy now takes pride of place on the front desk of their booking office
at the Cowes Rotunda.
Wildlife cruises are
silver award operators
THE quality of tourism on Phil-
lip Island was highlighted recently
with local operator, Wildlife Coast-
al Cruises, taking out Silver in the
2015 RACV Victorian Tourism
Awards, in the category of Tourism
Although they have entered this
event on several occasions, this is
the first time that Wildlife Coastal
Cruises has received state wide
It was certainly a night to remem-
ber for the party of eight from the
Wildlife Coastal Cruises operation,
who donned black tie and cocktail
attire to attend this gala function.
"When our name was read out as
a finalist in our category, our hearts
started beating fast," said market-
ing manager Paul Mannix.
"It was so exciting to then be
named as the Silver awardee, as
we were up against the best in the
state," Paul added.
This award acknowledged the
hard work and professionalism ap-
plied to their submission but more
importantly, reinforced the quality
and diversity of their operation.
"Our submission was extensive
and detailed. We had to include
every aspect of our operation from
staff training to customer service,
marketing and OH&S standards,"
"As well as the written submis-
sion, we also had a site visit from
the judges. Needless to say they
were very impressed with our Cape
Woolamai cruise," he added.
Staff and crew are thrilled with
this award, and are now looking
ahead to furthering their operation
and offering locals and visitors the
best they can in cruise tourism.
"We are waiting for the judges'
comments as these will give us an
indication of where and how we
can improve. We are in the busi-
ness of delivering excellence in
tourism and we are planning on
winning gold next year," Paul Man-
Wildlife Coastal Cruises is a
family run business and has been
operating for the past 22 years. In
that time it has developed into a
major tourist operator, based in
Its flagship the Kasey Lee ferry
operates all year round and offers
passengers a choice of cruises,
both on and off the island. These
vary in destination, location and
time of the year, and include Seal
Rocks, Cape Woolamai, Wilsons
Prom, Twilight cruises and Whale
A recent innovation, in partner-
ship with the Phillip Island Nature
Parks, is the Eco Boat Cruise. This
nature based experience is becom-
ing a popular addition to the Wild-
With the festive and holiday sea-
son fast approaching the crew at
Wildlife cruises is gearing up for
what they expect to be their busiest
season on record.
PHILLIP Island has stamped its mark firmly on the tour-
ism map, taking home three major trophies at the 2015
RACV Victorian Tourist Awards, which were held last week
at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The evening was a gala event for everyone involved in
the Victorian tourist industry, and an especially wonderful
night to remember for a host of local operators.
Representatives from Wildlife Coastal Cruises, Phillip
Island Nature Parks, Phillip Island and Bass Coast Visi-
tor Information Centre and Exceptional Phillip Island Area
Tours all stepped up on to the stage where they were recog-
nised for excellence in their various award categories.
They shared their delight with well-wishers and sup-
porters from Destination Phillip Island and the Bass Coast
Shire, who were on hand to join in the celebrations.
Hosted by the Victorian Tourism Industry Council
(VTIC), and sponsored by RACV, the awards night this year
saw over 900 tourism and event industry leaders gather for
this gala presentation.
The annual awards acknowledge the outstanding work
of tourist operators across the state, and showcase the ar-
ray of innovative enterprises that are on offer throughout
regional and metropolitan Victoria.
There were more than 120 submissions in over 30 cat-
egories entered in this year's event, including two RACV
People's Choice categories being voted on by the public.
The awards are highly competitive and well sought-after
within the tourism industry.
They are based on a written submission from each en-
trant, a site visit by the judges, and a register of the num-
ber of visitors attracted to each venue over the past twelve
The fact that Phillip Island has rated so highly and done
so exceptionally well over a number of categories is tes-
tament to the quality, variety and depth of the local and
extensive tourism industry. Well done 'Team Phillip Island'!
leads the way
PINP shines with silver award
IT WAS a night of celebration for
Phillip Island Nature Parks (PINP)
when it took out the Silver Award
for the prestigious Major Tourism
Attraction category at the 2015
Victorian Tourism Awards held in
Melbourne last week.
This highly competitive award
recognises the natural or man-
made tourist attraction that re-
ceives the highest number of visi-
tors during the qualifying period
for judging in Victoria.
"We are delighted to achieve
this award which publicly dem-
onstrates Phillip Island Nature
Parks as a major contributor to
Victorian tourism," said CEO
Matthew Jackson in his accep-
tance speech at the award cer-
"It demonstrates the high stan-
dard of delivery that this major
attraction continues to offer, both
to Phillip Island and to Victoria.
"We are focused on tourism ex-
cellence and our award-winning
tourism and environmental pro-
grams underwrite the quality
visitor experience we deliver," Mr
"We were proud to showcase
our eligibility for this award
with our record visitor numbers
achieved in 2014-15, our repu-
tation within and contribution
to the tourism industry, and our
focus on tourism excellence and
our quality team.
"We would also like to congrat-
ulate three other Phillip Island
organisations for their achieve-
ments at the Awards, with the
Phillip Island and Bass Coast Vis-
itor Information Centre winning
Gold in the Visitor Information
Services category; the Wildlife
Coast Cruises winning Silver in
the Tour and Transport Services
category; and Exceptional Phil-
lip Island Tours nominated as a
finalist in the New Tourism Busi-
ness category," he said.
Phillip Island Nature Parks is
Victoria's most visited regional
attraction with 1,257,999 visitors
The Penguin Parade also re-
corded the highest number
(145,000) of Chinese visitors
compared with any other Victo-
rian tourism attraction.
The Nature Parks employs
227 people and contributes over
$402.5 million to the Victorian
economy per annum. (Source
Ernst & Young 2013-14).
RIGHT: The Phillip Island
Nature Park took out the silver
award in the Major Tourism At-
traction category at the 2015
Victorian Tourism Awards held
in Melbourne last week.
CEO Matt Jackson is pictured
with the prestigious award, pre-
sented at a gala event held at
the Melbourne Exhibition and
'Best Live Venue'
THE Westernport Hotel in San Remo was crowned 'Best
Live Entertainment Venue' in Victoria on Monday night,
for the fourth time in the last six years, at the AHA (Vic)
Annual State Awards for Excellence ceremony held at the
The awards ceremony, hosted by the Australian Hotels
Association, was an evening of glitz and glamour attended
by over 1,000 of the State's Hoteliers and Staff, all anx-
iously hoping for a win.
Nick and Misha Say, deserved winners this year, were
thrilled to accept the coveted award.
"It is a reflection of the tremendous hard work, effort and
passion contributed year upon year by staff and patrons
alike with the goal of making The Westernport the hottest
live music venue in Victoria," said Nick.
The AHA (Vic) Annual State Awards for Excellence is a
celebration of the diversity and success of metropolitan
and regional Victorian Hotels. Thirty six awards categories
were in existence during the 2015 judging period.
The Westernport battled against scores of nominated
venues to secure a win in this hotly contested category.
The award which now sits in pride of place at The West-
ernport alongside three others from wins in 2010, 2011
and 2013 in the same category, is displayed proudly behind
The Westernport's famous boat shaped bar, and will serve
as a reminder of the Hotel's success for years to come.
Following the win an invigorated management and staff
team returned home to The Westernport, eager and ready
for a busy and successful summer season ahead.
With big-name bands like The Preatures coming up soon
on The Westernport's events calendar, this is one venue to
watch for all your entertainment needs.
Nick and Misha Say (pictured) were presented
with the award for "Best Live Entertainment Ven-
ue" in Victoria, at the Australian Hotels Association
(AHA) annual state awards for excellence, held at
the Docklands last week.
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