Australia’s Best Tourism Destination marketing campaign was announced last night as ‘PIE TIME’ run by Destination Southern Highlands. Taking out the gold award in the QANTAS Australian Tourism awards held at Launceston’s Cataract Gorge, the award was the first Gold honour for the NSW Southern Highlands since the awards inception in 1985.
The Awards, showcasing the best outstanding customer service, innovation and ongoing business excellence in Tourism, were presented in front of industry peers and officials from across Australia. Over 200 of Australia’s leading tourism businesses were finalists with 30 taking out the top honour in their respective categories.
“Taking home this award for the NSW Southern Highlands and the Canberra Region is a real achievement for our local industry and our passionate team of tourism marketing staff and operators who have been turning the Southern Highlands into the Southern Pie-lands for the 30 days of June over the last 2 years. Creativity, Innovation and grass roots collaboration between council and our local tourism industry were singled out as reasons this marketing initiative has been judged Australia best” said Steve Rosa, Tourism Manager Destination Southern Highlands.
“Having our award presented by Bob East, Chairman of Tourism Australia and beating out competitors such as the Driving the Great Barrier Reef, Destination Yorke Peninsula and NSW’s own Shoalhaven Tourism 100 Beaches campaign, further emphasised the national and international importance of this accolade.
“Coming into year three of this program, we will be looking to use this award as a shot in the arm for our industry and use it to further motivate and stir the creative juices that have ben part of our winning recipe since 2017. Our program relies on strong partnerships and support from not only the Wingecarribee Shire Council, but also from Destination NSW and Tourism Australia, and our partners throughout the Canberra Region. Tourism is everybody’s business and touches every part of our local economy supporting local jobs and attracting valuable investment in our region. I am predicting that Pie Time will continue to be an important part of our plans for many years to come,” Steve continued.
Pie Time’s Destination Marketing campaign has been largely managed by Threesides Marketing in Canberra over the past two years. Threesides’ Director, Todd Wright, says Threesides is thrilled to have been instrumental to such a huge win for the Southern Highlands.
“Threesides contributed to the creative ideas of Pie Time in both 2017 and 2018, and we were active in spreading the word via an effective and creative marketing campaign which incorporated both digital and traditional channels. We have already started working on Pie Time 2019, and are looking forward to baking another award-winning Pie Time marketing recipe,” said Todd.
Amongst the winners last night was the Irwin Family, from Queensland’s Australia ZOO. Terri, Bindi and Bob Irwin turned up to accept the Australian Tourism Legends Award for their contribution to Australian Tourism at home and abroad and their commitment to the promotion and conservation of sustainable tourism and the environment. The most awarded business on the night was Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures, who won 3 national awards including 2 hall of fame awards.
The Canberra Region was awarded a total of 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze awards on the night.
So, what started as a desire to create ‘Australia’s Home of Pies’ has now truly been recognised as one of Australia’s best marketed tourism destinations.
PieTime runs for 30 days throughout June in the NSW Southern Highlands and provides visitors with 100’s of ways to experience the great Australian Pie. From the pie awards, dine with a pie experiences, pie tours, pie and Pinot tastings and Australia’s largest PieFest weekend, the Pietime calendar provides myriad ways to discover a magical part of Australia.
Destination Southern Highlands won the Australian Tourism Awards 2018 – Destination Marketing Category award for the Pie Time Tourism Marketing campaign.