Scot MacDonald
18th Nov 2017

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC has congratulated three Hunter businesses on their outstanding achievements at the 2017 NSW Tourism Awards, which were held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney on the evening of Thursday 16th November.

Margan Family Winegrowers in Cessnock took the honours in the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services and Excellence in Food Tourism categories.

Moonshadow TQC Cruises in Port Stephens took the honours in the Major Tour and Transport Operators category and Sand Dune Adventures from Newcastle were awarded the Qantas Award for Excellence in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism.

Mr MacDonald said receiving these accolades at the State’s Tourism Awards was well-deserved recognition of the Hunter region’s outstanding tourism offerings. 

“Tourism is an important industry for the Hunter region and these accolades recognise the incredible work and expertise of those in our community and also raises the profile of the region as a whole,” he said.

Speaking at the Awards, NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall highlighted the importance of tourism and events to the State’s economy and praised the industry for its role in maintaining NSW’s stronghold as the number-one State.

“NSW is the envy of other States, with the greatest share of domestic and international visitors, visitor nights and expenditure, and an impressive calendar of major events across Sydney and rural and regional NSW, attracting visitors all year round,” Mr Marshall said.

“The tourism industry contributes a phenomenal $33.2 billion per year in international and domestic overnight visitor expenditure to the NSW economy and directly employs 164,000 people.

“At the heart of this success are the many hard-working individuals and business across NSW who work tirelessly to deliver world-class tourism experiences and I thank them for their commitment to excellence.”

Managed by the Tourism Industry Division of the NSW Business Chamber and supported by the NSW Government, the 2017 NSW Tourism Awards feature 27 categories, including major tourist attractions, festivals and events, cultural tourism, destination marketing and accommodation.

For a full list of this year’s winners, visit