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Orange punching above its weight in the tourism stakes

Orange punching above its weight in the tourism stakes

Local tourism businesses have once again shone in the first stages of the 2019 Regional Tourism Awards with the Orange region scoring four finalist places across the 28 award categories.

And for the first time, locals had to compete against businesses across the combined Destination NSW Destination Networks of ‘Country & Outback’ and ‘Riverina Murray’, resulting a larger and more competitive pool of nominees.

Heifer Station Wines, Silver Compass Tours and the Orange Visitor Information Centre are all finalists in their respective categories, as is Canowindra’s Age of Fishes Museum.

“The tourism industry here is certainly punching above its weight,” said Orange City Council’s tourism manager, Glenn Mickle.

“Orange has become a bit of a destination that people are looking for and it is important that we deliver on what we promise: We have good restaurants and the national parks, indoor and outdoor things to do, the accommodation sector is strong, our events are getting more popular and there are more of them too, so it is certainly on the up!”

Kelly Picarazzi and husband Paola founded their food and wine tour business, Silver Compass Tours, four years ago and she believes there is still so much untapped potential in the local tourism industry.

“I think Orange is perfectly positioned to give a quintessential ‘Regional Australia’ experience,” said Kelly.

“Sydney is still a massive market for us here. And Melbourne, we could tap into more. Canberra is a market just waiting to happen and then there’s taking the next step up…international tourists… People are flying into Sydney and only want to spend two or three days there now and they are actively looking to get out and experience Australia.”

Local finalists in the 2019 Regional Tourism Awards:

Heifer Station Wines ­— Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries

Silver Compass Tours — Excellence in Food Tourism

Age of Fishes Museum — Tourist Attraction

Orange Visitor Information Centre —Visitor Information Services

In 2018, Heifer Station Wines took out Gold in their category and progressed through to the NSW Tourism Awards where they won Silver; whilst Age of Fishes Museum took out Gold in the now defunct ‘Specialised Tourism Services’ category progressing through to the State awards. The Orange Visitor Information Centre was a finalist in both the Regional Tourism Awards and NSW Tourism Awards.

Local finalists in the 2019 Regional Tourism Awards: Larna Perry, Cathy Hines, Susan Perriman, Glenn Mickle, Michelle Stivens, Sharon D’Elboux, Tracey Crowe, Nick Garton, James Thomas, Emily Mann and Kelly Picarazzi.

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