Businesses recognised in the SA Tourism Awards

Langhorne Creek's Kimbolton Wines is a finalist in its category of the Tourism Awards.
Langhorne Creek's Kimbolton Wines is a finalist in its category of the Tourism Awards.

Twenty one tourism businesses in the Fleurieu Peninsula have been announced as finalists in the 2021 South Australian Tourism Awards.

Voting is now open for the public to get behind their favourite finalist in the 2021 Voters' Choice.

Alexandrina region is well represented as nine businesses make their way into the 2021 SA Tourism Awards as finalists across seven categories.

Local tourism businesses were invited by Council's Business Alexandrina team in June this year to attend an information session about the South Australian Tourism Awards, in the Business Hub, Goolwa. In partnership with Tourism Industry Council of South Australia (TiCSA) businesses were presented with the benefits for participating in the awards.

Nine businesses came on board and submitted their award.

The finalists include: Kool Tours an Aboriginal business who operates in Fleurieu including Victor Harbor, Port Elliot and Goolwa, Canoe the Coorong - Category 5, Ecotourism Tourism, Carriage of Occasion - Category 12, Tour & Transport Operators, SA Skydiving - Category 13, Adventure Tourism, Kimbolton - Category 16, Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries, Glenbarr Homestead - Category 19, Unique accommodation, Woodburn Homestead - Category 19, Unique accommodation, Beach Huts Middleton - Category 21, 3-3.5 Star accommodation, Hammer and Tongs - Category 24, New Tourism Business, Foodbuilder - Category 24, New Tourism Business.

Alexandrina Councilo Mayor Keith Parkes was proud to hear all nine Alexandrina entrants made it through to the 2021 SA Tourism Awards finals.

"These businesses have done it tough through the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially hurt by the lockdowns and restricted regional travel in April 2020. This recognition as finalists is well deserved demonstrating the resilience and 'can do attitude' of our local community," Mr Parkes said.

As an initiative of the Business Alexandrina program the session provided guidance and confidence to put forward a strong submission that acknowledged business excellence, innovation and rewarded exceptional customer service in the tourism industry.

Award submissions incorporated an introduction to the business, outlining how they responded to COVID-19, business development achievements and plans and an overview of marketing and customer experience activities.

Entrants are judged on their written submission, online reviews, customer rating and on-site visit by a member of the judging panel.

Council Chief Executive Officer Glenn Rappensberg said council's focus on economic development over the past 18 months had been crucial to ensure businesses were adequately equipped to adapt to the new normal of the ever-changing environment.

"Congratulations to the businesses committing to the significant work involved with preparing a submission whilst using the opportunity to improve their chances of future success," Mr Rappensberg said.

Business Alexandrina curated a mentoring program to assist the nine Alexandrina nominees to complete a 360 degree review on their businesses for the awards submission period.

The goal of the mentoring program was to elevate tourism businesses during a significant downturn in the industry by providing them with the tools and skills needed build a more resilient, customer centric business plan.

The nine finalists were matched with individual mentors, sourced from TiCSA's member partners.

This was complemented by the Business Alexandrina team providing access to the co-working space at the business hub, marketing and planning workshops, meetings with the Business Hub's Experts in Residence and weekly updates providing useful information and encouragement to maintain momentum throughout the program.

Winners and medallist will be announced at the Gala Dinner on November 4, at the iconic Adelaide Oval.

"It will be great to see the Alexandrina region so well represented and all nine finalists will receive comprehensive feedback from their judges to make further business improvements in the future," Mr Parkes said.

You can show your support in the lead up to the Gala Dinner by voting for your favourite Alexandrina South Australian Tourism Awards Finalist https://bit.ly/2XLe74m. The winner of the Voters Choice will be announced at the Gala Dinner.

In 2019, South Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2019, Beach Huts Middleton and Willunga Farmers Market were crowned best in their categories.

In addition, five tourism business in the Fleurieu Peninsula were awarded silver or bronze medals.

This year Beach Huts Middleton and Willunga Farmers Market are pursuing a potential induction into the South Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.

Finalists include; Beach Huts Middleton, Beresford Estate, Canoe the Coorong, Carriage of Occasion, d'Arenberg, foodbuilder, Glenbarr Homestead, Hammer 'N' Tongs, Hither & Yon, Kimbolton Wines, Make Trax Adventure Hire, Naiko Retreat, Old Coach Road Estate, SA Skydiving, Shottesbrooke Vineyards, Smiling Samoyed Brewery, The Backyard Universe, The Currant Shed, Tribal Expertise Facility, Willunga Farmers Market and Woodburn Homestead.

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