Albany and Denmark have reminded the rest of the State of their tourism clout, winning three of the major gongs at the WA Tourism Awards.
Held at Crown Perth on Saturday night, the industry’s premier awards recognised 31 winners from a record number of entries.
Albany’s celebrated Field of Light: Avenue of Honour installation took gold in the Major Festivals and Events category, beating out the Perth Festival and Chelsea Football Club’s visit to WA.
The Field of Light, the creation of British artist Bruce Munro, ran from October to April at Mt Clarence.
Commissioned by FORM and the City of Albany, Munro’s moving tribute to the Anzacs was a boon for Albany, injecting more than $17 million into the region.
Almost 30,000 people visited the Great Southern to see the installation, while the total attendance figure topped 186,000, according to research commissioned by Tourism WA.
“The haunting story of the Anzac commemoration combined with the beautiful collaboration of arts, community and place responded in a truly wonderful way,” FORM executive director Lynda Dorringtone said.
“The experience will stay with WA and Albany for a long time.”
The Lake House Denmark emerged as the south coast’s biggest winner on Saturday night, winning gold in the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services category, along with silver in two other categories.
Lake House owners Garry Capelli and Leanne Rogers came home with silver medals in Excellence in Food Tourism, and Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries.
Rounding out the region’s winners, Big4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park won gold in the Caravan and Holiday Parks category with the Albany holiday park rated above silver medallist RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort.
The three gold medal winners will now go on to represent Western Australia at the Australian Tourism Awards in March next year.
In the Cultural Tourism category, Albany’s Historic Whaling Station received a silver medal, behind Fremantle Prison.
And in Excellence in Local Government Tourism, the City of Albany finished runner-up to the City of Kalamunda.