Australian Gourmet Traveller 2010 Travel Awards
And the winners are...
The winners’ circle in the 2010 Travel Awards is a rollcall of outstanding local holiday experiences, writes Kendall Hill. Put your hands together for the cream of the crop.
It's been another apocalyptic 12 months for the global travel industry, if we’re to believe the hysterical headlines. First the global financial crisis sent airline profits plummeting, then swine flu threatened to strike down humanity, and then – just when the skies finally cleared – that unpronounceable Icelandic volcano blew its top and caused the biggest disruption to air travel since World War II. Things seemed very grim there for a while.
But here in the Australian travel industry, as in our economy generally, we managed to continue innovating, realising dreams and exhilarating visitors. Profits might have been down but our pioneering spirit stayed buoyant.
Once a year – particularly this year – it’s rewarding to sit back, take stock of our good fortune and pay tribute to the finest tourism operators in the land. The one thing we’re particularly good at is opening up our landscapes and wonders, hence our reputation for stunning scenery and accommodation, unparalleled adventures and fabulous food. Not to mention our seemingly endless diversity of people, cultures, wildlife and wilderness.
Cue the Gourmet Traveller 2010 Travel Awards, proudly presented in association with Nespresso. Despite the seemingly endless turmoil in the global industry, these awards give us cause for great optimism about the future of holidaying in Australia. This year’s winners’ circle is a rollcall of the most outstanding local holiday experiences, from our best large luxury hotel to the finest cruise line and top resort or lodge. We’ve also added some new categories this year to better reflect the scope of domestic travel, seeking out the superlatives in hotel dining, for example, and wine tourism.
So please, put your hands together for the cream of the national travel industry, as voted by you online. Our month-long poll attracted more than 34,000 votes from GT readers and Getaway viewers, no doubt spurred by the prospect of winning a spectacular short break to New Zealand’s North Island, courtesy of award sponsors Air New Zealand and Huka Lodge.
In addition to the reader-voted winners, our expert categories – judged by an elite panel of travel writers, editors, photographers, guidebook authors and independent industry heads – pay tribute to the individuals and companies who have contributed significantly to the local tourism landscape. Our judges nominate their picks in the fields of best new hotel, tour operator, heritage experience and green tourism initiative. They also share tips on their most indispensable travel website and the city they think will have the biggest buzz in 2010.
Thanks again to our sponsor Nespresso. All our winners are noteworthy for their excellence; some are also honoured for their exceptional location or design or their contribution to the environment. The one thing they all have in common is their pursuit of (guest) happiness.
What are you waiting for? Check out all the winners of our Australian Gourmet Traveller 2010 Travel Awards now.
PHOTOGRAPHY SHARYN CAIRNS
This article is from the June 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.