What happens at the Australian tourism awards?
Last night, it was brilliant to celebrate the best of the tourism industries on the National Tourism Awards 2014.
The event started with an afternoon cruise with Captain Cook Cruises on Sydney Harbour, drinks, canapes and views of Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Sydney Opera House and the amazing bays that make up Sydney Harbour. There were boats everywhere, it is a relaxing yet exciting atmosphere and it's really easy to sit back and soak in Sydney. Certainly, there are many Australia adventure tours and activities in Sydney that you can experience.
Dressed up in the tuxedo / suit, it was off on another ferry with drinks again from Darling Harbour to just under the northern end of Sydney Harbour Bridge. We took a short stroll around the corner to Lunar Park, our venue for the evening. This was around 5:30pm.
We were all given wrist bands enabling us to go on any rides we wanted (I went on the death drop and the dodgems cars which I might add seemed slower than I remembered as a child!) and we explored the side shows and rides that Lunar Park is famous for.
The main even started at 6:30pm approximately, we were ushered on the red carpet with champagne as we entered the foyer of the awards hall. Searching out which table I was sitting on and mingling was the focus now.
Entering the awards hall, we had speeches and then a welcome to country by the aboriginal custodians of Sydney. There were speeches by the tourism minister, presenters, Tourism Australia representatives and more speeches. We saw a performance by Strictly Ballroom The Musical, we had singing performances and entertainment.
With entre already on the table, a tasty arrangement of prawns and procuito which is devoured in a flash, the main course comes out which was steak medallions. Tender and tasty but a little cold, I always think to myself what an expensive meal (at $220 a ticket to the night!).
The awards were read out in reverse order, category 26 down to 1, I think I prefer the random order that I have experienced in the past. Initially, everyone is listening with eager anticipation, but as the drinks flow, the categories pass and people commence with celebrations or comiserations after their category announcement, less and less people show interest in the presentations. The room has a hum of discussion and laughter.
Mingiling, networking, socializing, drinking, celebrating and comiserating follow, once all the formalities are over, it is on to the dance floor before leaving at around midnight.
Buses were available afterward to Darling Harbour at this award which was a great touch. Then everyone headed off to different bars or bed.
All in all, the Tourism Awards Night is a great time to celebrate the industry. If one is lucky enough to win an award, then it is a real celebration and it is important to make the most of the networking opportunities. Don't drink too much (until later) and remember that the industry is always watching. Although a lot of people don't listen to a speech, make sure you have some dot points ready as when you are in front of 1000 people it can be a little overwhelming. I can speak from experience! Indeed, Australia is one of the best tourist destinations that everyone should experienced.
So if you get the chance to go to the awards as an operator, take it - enjoy it and make the most of celebrating the awesome industry that is - Tourism.