The 20th annual Accommodation Awards for Excellence were hosted by Tourism Accommodation Australia (NSW) last night at the Hyatt Regency Sydney with almost 700 people guests, making it the biggest attendance in the event’s history.
The top awards were won for the second consecutive year by Park Hyatt Sydney which won Metropolitan Deluxe Hotel of the Year and Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley which won Regional Deluxe Hotel of the Year and was inducted into the TAA NSW Hall of Fame for Best Environmental Practices.
Metropolitan Superior Hotel of the Year was won jointly by Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour and Parkroyal Darling Harbour Sydney while Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains won Regional Superior Hotel of the Year.
Atura Blacktown and Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park were joint winners of the Mid-Range Hotel of the Year Award (the second year running for Atura Blacktown).
The award for best Redeveloped/Refurbished Hotel of the Year went to Primus Hotel, Sydney and the Apartment/Suite Hotel of the Year was won by Fraser Suites Sydney, with QT Bondi highly commended.
Bar of the Year (Mid-Range-Superior) was won by Roadhouse Bar & Grill, Atura Albury and Bar of the Year (Deluxe) went to Stillery, Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay (Grain Bar, Four Seasons was highly commended).
Several dignitaries were in attendance including The Hon. Adam Marshall – the Minister for Tourism and Events, Parliamentary Secretary for Major Events and Tourism – Jonathan O’Dea MP and Member for Lismore – The Hon Thomas George MP.
Also in attendance were members of the TAA NSW Board – Martin Ferguson – TAA National Chair, Scott Leach – President of the AHA National and NSW and Stephen Ferguson – National CEO of the AHA.
A speech from Tourism Accommodation Australia chairman, Peter Tudehope, highlighted the important contribution that the NSW hotel industry provides to the state’s $30 billion visitor economy.
“As an industry we are in a very privileged position – we have a state government that recognizes and supports the important contribution of the tourism sector,” he said.
“New South Wales’ position as a leading tourism, major events and business events destination was reinforced last month with the release of the 2017-18 NSW Government Budget.
“The government not only maintained but increased their strong funding commitment to both Destination NSW and Business Events Sydney.
“They have also continued their significant investment into infrastructure and transport development which is critical to continuing to grow the visitor economy and in ensuring the sustained performance of our accommodation industry.
“Government investment is fundamental to supporting confidence in current and planned accommodation in Sydney and Greater Sydney. We have close to 3,000 rooms under construction, 5,000 rooms approved and 4,500 rooms planned or proposed in Sydney metro. A 30 per cent increase in supply over the next seven years if it all comes to fruition.
“Another very important announcement by the government is their continued commitment to funding regional NSW. Importantly the dollar for dollar spend in regional tourism infrastructure has never been better.
“We look forward to the new model for regional tourism in NSW getting more traction. We are pleased that, after three and half years of research and advocacy a centralized regional business events unit has been created in Destination NSW and a Manager appointed. Attracting more mid-week business is a game-changer for regional accommodation properties.
“The hospitality industry is not only about attracting visitors, we also need to attract the labour and skills that underpin the sustainability of our industry. We appreciate the work the government is doing in this regard and for their support for TAA’s Hotel Career Expo.
“The accommodation sector directly employs over 22,000 people in NSW. Indirectly it employs 40,000. The sector contributes over $2.2 billion in gross product to the NSW economy. The government’s budget initiatives provide a tremendous boost for the sector, which in turn lets us continue to deliver these outstanding numbers.
“I would like to thank our tourism partners, many of whom are represented tonight – your ongoing support and commitment is highly valued and critical for the success of our industry.
“Tonight’s awards continue to demonstrate the ‘world class’ product we have in NSW and the committed and passionate people working in our industry.”