Newcastle Hospitality & Tourism Awards reveal 2024 winners

Newcastle Hospitality & Tourism Awards reveal 2024 winners

The local hospitality and tourism industry gathered at FogHorn Brewery last month to celebrate the best of the best in the second annual Newcastle Hospitality & Tourism Awards.

Organised by Newcastle Tourism Industry Group (NTIG), the Awards are designed to honour outstanding contributions across the visitor economy, including hotels, restaurants, tour operators, event organisers, and support partners. 

Acting NTIG Chair and Owner of Coastal XP, Dominic May said the last year has been a time of growth, which is great to witness after the peak of COVID-19.

“NTIG has had an impressive past 12 months to say the least. In less than three years, we’ve seen our membership numbers double,” he said.

“As a committee we have worked tirelessly to provide a unified voice for the local visitor economy, and to drive value for our members based on our 2024 strategy, which identified five key pillars: Industry Education and Networking, Advocacy, Event Activation, Inclusiveness and the Industry Awards Program.

“We’re not even halfway through the year, and we’ve already delivered in each of these areas through our support for local and major events and our partners such as the University of Newcastle’s new Bachelor of Tourism, Hospitality and Events along with the new International Hotel School. 

“We’ve painted the town pink together with the City of Newcastle, using the SBR funding NTIG has received this year. Collectively we led a meeting surrounding accessibility in our city and the best ways for our members to get involved in making their businesses more accessible. 

“For this year’s Awards, we saw a record number of highly competitive nominations, and introduced a new category, Inclusive Hospitality & Tourism Operator of the Year – clear signs of the momentum that the Newcastle Hospitality & Tourism Awards are gathering year after year.” 

The NTIG committee extended thanks to their supporters, including FogHorn Brewery, Earp Distilling Co, Peter Drayton Wines, Newcastle Airport, FordTronic AV and Out Of The Square Media.

The finalists and winners of the night included 

  • Industry Support Partner of the Year Award

Recognising an organisation that helps the visitor economy create the magic and allowing them to focus on what they do best, presented by Shawn Sherlock, Chief Brewing Officer, FogHorn Brewery. 

Finalists:  Aerologistics & University of Newcastle – Business School 

Winner: Out Of The Square Media – who have supported a range of hospitality operators from Soul Café to Newcastle Airport and events from Clipper Around The World Race to Sculptures at Scratchley with high quality media production and distribution. 

  • Inclusive Tourism & Hospitality Operator of the Year Award

Honouring operators who showcase their dedication to inclusivity by implementing comprehensive company-wide initiatives focused on accessibility, cultural sensitivity, and diversity training. Presented by Chad Ramage from Accessibility In The City.

Finalists:  Quest Apartments Newcastle and Newcastle West and Earp Distilling Co.

Winner: Oakvale Wildlife Park – who has a commitment to inclusivity that permeates every aspect of their operation including a pathway network with no steps, complimentary wheelchair hire including water wheelchairs, multi lingual maps and diversity training for all staff.

  • Employer of the Year Award

Honouring innovation, resilience and dedication of employers who are dedicated to creating terrific guest experiences, showcasing the best our industry can do, presented by Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Nuatali Nelmes. 

Finalists:  Quest Apartments Newcastle and Newcastle West and Oakvale Wildlife Park 

Winner: Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club – who train and develop their team through apprenticeships, personal development training, University support and industry specific training.

  • Employee of the Year Award

Highlighting the extraordinary commitment of a staff member who is making a difference in making guests feel special, presented by Ellie Taylor, Campaign Specialist  at Newcastle Airport. 

Finalists:  Laura McGrath – City of Newcastle and Mia Shorter – Quest Apartments Newcastle and Newcastle West 

Winner: Tamara Young, University of Newcastle – who has led tourism education and research at University of Newcastle for over 15 years. By prioritising effective partnerships, she has been educating future tourism professionals and conducting research aligned to growing the Newcastle visitor economy. 

IMAGE | Employer of the Year Winner Representative, Newcastle Yacht Club, Employee of the Year, Tamara Young (University of Newcastle) and Industry Support Partner of the Year Winner Representative, Marty Adnum from OOTS (left-right).

Newcastle Tourism Industry Group (NTIG)

The Newcastle Tourism Industry Group is the unified voice for the tourism industry, bringing together the tourism sector and all businesses and services that create the Newcastle experience.  

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