Mayor Richie Williamson, Elizabeth Fairweather, Janelle Saffin, Steve Cansdell, Councillor Sue Hughes, Clarence River Tourism Manager Jenny Massie and Clarence Tourism vice president Bob Little at the 2011 North Coast Tourism Awards.
Mayor Richie Williamson, Elizabeth Fairweather, Janelle Saffin, Steve Cansdell, Councillor Sue Hughes, Clarence River Tourism Manager Jenny Massie and Clarence Tourism vice president Bob Little at the 2011 North Coast Tourism Awards. Rob Cleary

Awards prove tourism is the winner

JUDGING by the Clarence Valley’s stellar performance at this year’s Countrylink North Coast Tourism Awards, the area’s tourism industry is alive and well despite the current tough economic times.

Clarence Valley tourism initiatives and services took out four prizes at the gala award ceremony held in Grafton on Saturday night, including two gold (winner’s) medals, a silver medal and also an encouragement award.

The general manager of Clarence River Tourism, Jenny Massie, said the strong Clarence Valley presence in the awards was a good indicator tourism in the area was still seeing growth.

“We had four finalists this year and out of those four finalists we got four award recipients, so we did quite well,” Ms Massie said.

“The interesting thing this year, from looking at the winners, is that there’s quite a lot of confidence in tourism in the Clarence because the projects that won are new tourism developments.”

Taking out gold medals for the Clarence Valley was the council’s Clarence River Way Plan and the National Parks and Wildlife Service’s Yuraygir Coastal Walk, which both impressed the judges with their focus on sustainability and attracting tourism to the area.

Another new Clarence Valley tourism venture commended was The Yamba Shores Tavern, which received an Encouragement Award for its multi-million dollar refurbishment and re-launch earlier this year.

Clarence River Tourism was also rewarded with a silver medal for its information centres which, Ms Massie said, staff were delighted about.

The Clarence Valley is no stranger to recognition at the awards – five local tourism operators and initiatives received medals during last year’s awards.



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