The annual Tourism Accommodation Association NSW awards took place at the fully refurbished Four Points by Sheraton Sydney last week.
The evening kicked off with Peter Tudehope, Chairman of the TAA NSW Board, welcoming the Hon. John Barilaro MP, State Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Skills and Minister for Small Business, the Hon. Keith Pitt, Federal Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Scott Leach, President of the AHA NSW and Stephen Ferguson, National CEO of the AHA.
Tudehope said, “It has been a solid year for the tourism sector. New South Wales’ position as a leading tourism and events destination was reinforced last month with the release of the 2016-17 NSW Government Budget. We commend the government for maintaining their strong funding commitment to Destination NSW and Business Events Sydney and for their significant investment in transport infrastructure.
“These are all critical to ensuring the continual growth of the visitor economy. It also ensures the sustained performance of the accommodation industry.
“Government investment is fundamental in supporting the current planned accommodation investment in Sydney and Greater Sydney. We have 1500 rooms under construction in Sydney City with a further 1800 due for completion by 2021. In Greater Sydney we have 2300 rooms that will come on line by 2018. In both regions even more rooms are in the planning pipeline.
“We welcome the announcement by the government of a new model for regional tourism in NSW. It includes the creation of a centralised regional business events unit. Regional tourism bodies require certainty and consistency of funding if they stimulate demand for visitors to their region and create an environment for visitor economy infrastructure development. I need to acknowledge the work done by Carol Giuseppe the TAA NSW CEO in this particular area. The paper she prepared for Government consideration on regional tourism was central to the changes that have now been put in place.
“The budget initiatives I have mentioned will provide a tremendous boost for the accommodation sector which directly employs over 24,000 people in NSW and 42,000 indirectly. It contributes $2.2 billion in gross product to the NSW economy,” said Tudehope.
IHG were the notable winners of the night, with InterContinental taking out Best Environmental Practices Metropolitan Hotels and Meetings and Events Employee of the Year (Nicole Cheramie). The hotel was also inducted into the Hall of Fame having won the Workplace Health and Safety Hotel of the Year for the last three consecutive years (2013-2015).
InterContinental Sydney Double Bay won Function Venue of the Year, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley’s Kim Hodgins won Food and Beverage Employee of the Year and Sven Weissenborn the Revenue Manager of the Year.
Crowne Plaza Terrigal’s Shay Hansen was awarded Front Office Employee of the Year while the hotel took out the Workplace Health and Safety Hotel of the Year.
Finance Officer of the Year went to Cindy Feng from Holiday Inn Potts Point.
Outside of IHG’s stronghold, Atura Blacktown won Mid-range Hotel of the Year won and Brasserie/Café of the Year for its Roadhouse Bar and Grill.
The Park Hyatt Sydney won Sydney Deluxe Hotel of the Year whilst Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley took out the Regional Deluxe Hotel of the Year title.
Parkroyal Darling Harbour won Sydney Superior Hotel of the Year, while Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains won Regional Superior Hotel of the Year.
Conference Hotel of the Year Metropolitan Hotels went to Sheraton on the Park; and Château Élan at The Vintage Hunter Valley was named Conference Hotel of the Year Regional Hotels.
The award for Redeveloped Hotel of the Year went to The Old Clare Hotel while Apartment/Suite Hotel of the Year was won by Fraser Suites Sydney.
The Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley were the most successful regional areas, with The Hydro Majestic Hotel taking the award for Hotel Chef of the Year (Mate Herceg) and Lilianfels’ Darley’s Restaurant named Regional Restaurant of the Year. Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley took out two awards for individual excellence.
Staff from the Hilton Sydney had a good night with Morgan Meredith grabbing the gong for Hotel Industry Rising Star and Hayden Gibson winning the award for Employee Excellence in Service.
The Sydney Boulevard Hotel was inducted into the TAA NSW Hall of Fame for Outstanding Community Service and Achievement.
Other winners were Emirates One&Only Spa, Wolgan Valley and The Darling Spa, The Star for Health Club and Spa Facilities of the Year; Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney and Momofuku Seiobo, The Star for Metropolitan Restaurant of the Year (Deluxe), Steeds Club Grill and Bar, Rydges Parramatta for Metropolitan Restaurant of the Year (Mid-Range/Superior hotels); Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney for Outstanding Achievement in Training; The Westin Sydney for Outstanding Community Service and Achievement and Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley for Best Environmental Practices (Regional).