Phillip Island Nature Parks has taken out silver in the coveted Victorian Tourism Awards, highlighting its exceptional ability to combine eco-tourism with successful conservation.
The Nature Parks was named runner up in the Major Tourist Attraction category at the prestigious Victorian Tourism Awards Gala Ceremony at the Palladium at Crown last night.
The awards, organised by the Victorian Tourism Industry Council, recognise tourism excellence and outstanding innovation within the sector.
Phillip Island Nature Parks Chief Executive Officer Catherine Basterfield said the Nature Parks’ staff and volunteers had worked hard to rebuild visitation in the last two years, and this award was due recognition of their dedicated efforts.
“This award is validation of the incredible experiences Phillip Island Nature Parks work hard to deliver, and it showcases that our staff, volunteers and visitors really are the cornerstone of our success,” Ms Basterfield said.
“We are very grateful for the support of the Victorian community, who returned to the Nature Parks experiences in large numbers following the pandemic. Visitation from interstate and international visitors and group bookings in more recent months has ensured that we return to a strong position very quickly.
“Through a carefully curated visitor experience, Nature Parks offers a story of hope for our planet and a place where tourism and conservation have worked in synergy to celebrate and safeguard Australia’s precious biodiversity.
“I am so proud to work with a team that is committed to showcasing the unique wonders of Phillip Island while managing environmental and wildlife conservation.”
Phillip Island Nature Parks offers a diverse array of experiences, including the long-loved Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Reserve, Churchill Island and the Antarctic Journey exhibit at the Nobbies Centre.
Phillip Island is home to the largest little penguin colony that can be viewed in its natural environment, and is the country’s first sensory-certified tourism attraction.
In the past year, the Nature Parks has proven its ability to deliver new innovations with the first hatchlings of bushstone curlews at the Koala Conservation Reserve, a new yarning circle learning space and enhanced hospitality options across its attractions, showcasing local food and businesses.
Ms Basterfield congratulated all the winners of the 2023 Victorian Tourism Awards, including Zoos Victoria, who took home gold for the Major Tourist Attraction Award.