By James Wells

The 20th annual Accommodation Awards for Excellence were hosted by the Tourism Accommodation Australia (NSW) last night at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney with almost 700 people in attendance making it the biggest attendance in the event’s history.

The best hotels in the state’s multi-billion dollar tourism sector were recognised at the awards, which also named the best hotel bars in NSW.

Bar of the Year (Mid-Range-Superior) was won by Roadhouse Bar & Grill, Atura Albury and Bar of the Year (Deluxe) went to Stillery, Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay, with Grain Bar, Four Seasons being highly commended.

The Hilton Sydney’s Jonathan Bowmaker was named as the Food and Beverage Employee of the Year.

Several dignitaries were in attendance including The Hon. Adam Marshall – the Minister for Tourism and Events, Parliamentary Secretary for Major Events and Tourism – Jonathan O’Dea MP and Member for Lismore – The Hon Thomas George MP.

Also in attendance were members of the TAA NSW Board – Martin Ferguson – TAA National Chair, Scott Leach – President of the AHA National and NSW and Stephen Ferguson – National CEO of the AHA.

A speech from Tourism Accommodation Australia chairman, Peter Tudehope, highlighted the important contribution that the NSW hotel industry provides to the state’s $30 billion visitor economy.

“As an industry we are in a very privileged position – we have a state government that recognises and supports the important contribution of the tourism sector. New South Wales’ position as a leading tourism, major events and business events destination was reinforced last month with the release of the 2017-18 NSW Government Budget.

“The government not only maintained but increased their strong funding commitment to both Destination NSW and Business Events Sydney. They have also continued their significant investment into infrastructure and transport development which is critical to continuing to grow the visitor economy and in ensuring the sustained performance of our accommodation industry.

“The hospitality industry is not only about attracting visitors, we also need to attract the labour and skills that underpin the sustainability of our industry. We appreciate the work the government is doing in this regard and for their support for TAA’s Hotel Career Expo.”

He added: “The accommodation sector directly employs over 22,000 people in NSW. Indirectly it employs 40,000. The sector contributes over $2.2 billion in gross product to the NSW economy. The government’s budget initiatives provide a tremendous boost for the sector, which in turn lets us continue to deliver these outstanding numbers.

“I would like to thank our tourism partners, many of whom are represented tonight – your ongoing support and commitment is highly valued and critical for the success of our industry.

“Tonight’s awards continue to demonstrate the ‘world class’ product we have in NSW and the committed and passionate people working in our industry.”

In the main honours the Park Hyatt Sydney won Metropolitan Deluxe Hotel of the Year, with Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley named Regional Deluxe Hotel of the Year.

Metropolitan Superior Hotel of the Year was won jointly by Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour and PARKROYAL Darling Harbour Sydney while Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains won Regional Superior Hotel of the Year.

Atura Blacktown and Holiday Inn Express Sydney Macquarie Park were joint winners of the MidRange Hotel of the Year Award.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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