Nimbin Rox after winning major tourism award

TWENTY-three businesses from around the North Coast were awarded with one of the regions highest honours at the 2013 Countrylink North Coast Tourism Awards this weekend.

More than 43 leading tourism operators competed for the prestigious gold, silver and bronze awards with Nimbin Rox backpacker accommodation picking up the award for best backpacker accommodation and Byron's Arakwal Dolphin Dreaming taking out a gold award for Indigenous tourism, to name a few.

Other gold award winners from across the region included the Byron Bay Beach Cafe and Bluesfest.

The Judith McGilvray Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to regional tourism was awarded to Rod Caldicott who was the former tour- ism and promotions manager for Richmond Valley Council.

North Coast Destination Network executive officer Belinda Novicky said while the tourism awards were an opportunity to recognise business excellence within the tourism industry, they also provide an opportunity for business owners to network with their peers.

"The awards evening went off with a real bang," Ms Novicky said.

She said the menu for the evening was designed around produce sourced from the local area.

"We were really pleased with the evening, with local producers being showcased and the Ramada ensured the menu was regionally focused," Ms Novicky said.

The Tourism awards are hosted by the North Coast Destination Network and in partnership with 14 North Coast councils and highlight the innovation and creativity of tourism providers in the region.

Winners were selected based on criteria that considered sustainability, quality and customer service.

All award winners are now listed as finalists at the NSW State Awards, which will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney on November 28.

A full list of the winners is available here.  

Gold award winners:

Major Festivals and Events: Bluesfest

Backpacker Accommodation: The Nimbin Rox YHA

Eco Tourism: Byron Bay Eco Cruises & Kayaks

Indigenous Tourism: Arakwal Dolphin Dreaming

Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services: The Byron Beach Cafe

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