Kiama and Shellharbour's South Coast Tourism award winners

RELATED CONTENT, PHOTOS FROM THE NIGHT HERE

Sebel Harbourside Kiama won gold in the Meetings, Functions and Business Tourism area. Pictured: (left to right) Amit Gupta, Kristie Boniel and Ali Hnaien.

Sebel Harbourside Kiama won gold in the Meetings, Functions and Business Tourism area. Pictured: (left to right) Amit Gupta, Kristie Boniel and Ali Hnaien.

THE KIAMA and Shellharbour areas have been well-represented in the winners’ list at this year’s South Coast Tourism Awards.

More than 250 people attended the gala presentation evening at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club on Wednesday night. 

The awards recognise the thousands of tourism businesses from Helensburgh to Eden.

The Shellharbour Visitors Centre at Shellharbour Village took out the Visitor Information Centres category.

Diane Johnston,  acting chair of the South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation and manager of Tourism Shellharbour was ‘‘very proud’’.

‘‘Our centre has only been open for three years, and this shows our commitment to our staff and volunteers,’’ she said.

‘‘This has proven that what we offer and provide to our visitors is great.’’

The Kiama Show was also acknowledged, winning the Event or Festival category. 

Kiama Show Society publicity officer Karen Beasley said it was ‘‘wonderful’’ that a volunteer community group had been recognised.

‘‘This gives us so much credibility, to say we are the gold award-winning Kiama Show,’’ she said.

‘‘We knew we were doing something right for it to last 166 years... To get that stamp of approval is wonderful.’’

Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club won the Best Registered Club category.

The club’s operations manager Dan Morris said the award was testament to the hard work which occurred during the past 12 months while the club underwent renovations.

‘‘Half the club was shut down for six months,’’ he said.

‘‘That was obviously difficult for staff and contractors, but since we opened the new part of the club in December... This recognises the hard work and sacrifice the staff and the club made during that time.’’

The Sebel Harbourside, Kiama won gold in the Meetings, Functions and Business Tourism area.

General manager Ali Hnaien  said the award was recognition for their efforts such as quality service, recent changes that had been made, flexibility  offered to guests, refurbishments and promotion of the business in areas such as Sydney. 

‘‘It’s important, living up to guests’ expectations,’’ he said.

‘‘We invest a lot of time in training of staff.

‘‘We take our job very seriously.

‘‘If you invest the time in people, guests and staff, the results will follow.’’

Silos Estate and Wileys Creek, Berry also won the Regional Winery, Brewery or Pub category. 

Tom Phillips, Executive Officer of the South Coast Tourism Organisation said tourism contributed $2.1 billion a year to the South Coast economy, and directly employs more than 19,700 people. 

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