After a three-year hiatus, the state’s multi-billion dollar tourism accommodation sector has come together to celebrate at the 2022 Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW Awards for Excellence.
Given extra significance this year with amalgamation drawing ever closer, the event marked the first time Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) and Accommodation Australia (AA) have come together at an awards event.
More than 600 industry and political leaders attended the event at The Fullerton Hotel including NSW Minister for Transport and Veterans, David Elliott MP, Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism, Kevin Hogan MP and Australian Hotels Association NSW and National President, Scott Leach.
A record 300 nominations were received this year for the 28 awards up for grabs with finalists representing more than 60 of the state’s top accommodation venues along with a large number of suburban and regional venues.
Addressing the audience, TAA NSW Chair, Richard Doyle said the awards night was not only a chance to celebrate the finalists and winners, but also a chance to acknowledge the sense of family and commitment which had united the industry throughout the pandemic.
“The impacts have been felt differently by all of you, but no one has escaped unscathed,” he said.
“We are an industry built on relationships and we will never again take for granted the experience of being able to gather in a room together with friends and colleagues and break bread.”
Mr Doyle also took the opportunity to welcome members of the Accommodation Association to the awards for the first time, describing their presence as “another step in the successful merging of our two great associations.”
TAA NSW and National CEO, Michael Johnson said the night was the perfect time for the sector to come back together after the challenges of the past two years.
“If nothing else, the pandemic proved that our industry is both resilient and innovative,” he said.
“The opportunity to come together and recognise the efforts of those who continued to perform at the top of their game despite the challenges we have all faced was certainly something to celebrate.
“It was also great to have the Accommodation Association join us as we work towards finalising the amalgamation of these two great accommodation organisations.
“I congratulate all our winners, highly-commended recipients, and finalists.”
Big winners on the night included many of the state’s best-known hotels.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley named ‘Deluxe Hotel of the Year’ with Crown Towers Sydney achieving Highly Commended.
The Star Sydney was named Metropolitan Superior Hotel of the Year, while team members at the Four Seasons, Sydney scored an accumulator, taking out the all- important ‘people’ awards for Concierge of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Sales and Marketing Talent of the Year and a Highly Commended for Hotel Industry Rising Star.
The Langham, Sydney received its second consecutive award for Outstanding Community Contribution, while Rydges Newcastle won Mid-Range Hotel of the Year and Crystalbrook Byron was named Redeveloped/Refurbished Hotel of the Year.
Hotel Industry Rising Star and Rooms Division Talent of the Year awards went to Domenic Torrisi and Jade Bradshaw of Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection, respectively. Jade has since been appointed Rooms Division Manager at Sydney Harbour Marriott
Apartment/Suite Hotel of the Year went to SKYE Suites, Sydney, while Restaurant of the Year (Deluxe) was awarded to Amara at Spicers Sangoma Retreat and Restaurant of the Year (Mid-Range Superior) went to Mister Percy at The Woolstore 1888 by Ovolo.
The event’s inaugural Hotel Executive of the Year award went to Shaun O’Bryan from Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort & Elysia Wellness Retreat.
This year’s Hall of Fame Inductee was the Radisson Hotel Group’s highly regarded icon, Peter Tudehope.
Accepting his award, Mr Tudehope said he was extremely humbled.
“It is certainly something you don’t expect when you go into the industry, and I do it because I love it,” he said.
“I’m very fortunate. I’ve always worked with amazing teams throughout my whole career but probably my most amazing team are the people who are around me right now.
“We have a leadership team in the hotel right now that averages around 14 years which in itself is quite incredible. It’s about getting the best results from the people that work for you and I am extremely fortunate that I have such great people working for me”.
The full list of 2022 TAA NSW Award For Excellence winners can be viewed here.
Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience.
Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.