The celebrations are continuing for Katherine's big winners at the national tourism awards .
On Friday night the nation’s tourism industry celebrated ‘the best of the best’ in a picturesque location at Launceston’s Cataract Gorge.
There were more than 800 finalists and dignitaries who attended the gala event contesting 25 award categories with representatives from each of Australia’s states and territories.
Katherine Mayor Fay Miller was also in Launceston to congratulate the Katherine winners.
The Australian Tourism Awards are the country’s peak awards program which recognise excellence in tourism.
Local Katherine business Nitmiluk Tours won two Gold and one Silver in the category of Tourism Restaurants and Catering, Luxury Accommodation (Cicada Lodge) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism, making it one of the most successful entrants on the night.
Tom Curtain's Katherine Outback Experience won Bronze in Tourist Attractions.
The 2018 ATA win highlights the long term commitment of the Jawoyn people and Nitmiluk Tours who have cemented their place as one of the country’s most highly awarded tourism operations.
In her first acceptance for the Tourism Restaurant and Catering category, Jawoyn Elder and Chair Lisa Mumbin acknowledged both the Territory minister Lauren Moss and Katherine Mayor Fay Miller as a great supporters of tourism, before reflecting on what the win meant to Nitmiluk Tours and Cicada Lodge.
“I want to acknowledge my elders and my people. We’ve come a long way and the journey hasn’t been that easy.
But hey, we’ve been around for more than 30 years and this year, in September, we celebrate more than 30 years of joint management in tourism and parks.
"And I want to thank all my staff back home who deliver a great food and wine (experience) in Cicada Lodge” she said.
In a heartfelt moment, Mayor Fay Miller alerted the crowd that it was Lisa’s 50th birthday and the entire room joined in to wish her a happy birthday in song.
Contributing to the stellar result in 2018 was Nitmiluk Tour’s third consecutive year of growth, a 94% visitor satisfaction rating and improvements to the organisations tourism infrastructure; including the development of a new cultural pavilion, expansion of the Jawoyn cultural tours within Nitmiluk National Park, a major kitchen upgrade at Cicada Lodge & Restaurant and the launch of a series of food events.
“Nitmiluk Tours and Cicada Lodge was developed out of a dream to showcase the Nitmiluk region and the culture of our owners, the Jawoyn people; and to bring a new element to tourism in the Top End. In all facets of the operation we strive to achieve and deliver on that promise”, said Nitmiluk Tours and Cicada Lodge COO Sveva Falletto.
Jawoyn-owned Nitmiluk Tours is one of the largest tourism employers of indigenous persons in the Northern Territory’s Top End.
With Indigenous CEO Jane Runyu and Jawoyn Chairperson Lisa Mumbin, Nitmiluk Tours continues to be a prime example of economic sustainability and tourism excellence for the Northern Territory.
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