Cicada Lodge at Nitmiluk Gorge has won two gold awards and one silver at the 2019 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
Representatives from Jawoyn Association, Nitmiluk Tours and Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife attended the gala ceremony in Launceston last night alongside the Territory Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture Lauren Moss.
Cicada Lodge received gold awards for best Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services, and Luxury Accommodation.
Jawoyn chairperson Lisa Mumbin and Nitmiluk Tours chief executive office Jane Runyu-Fordimail accepted the award, which gives Cicada Lodge the title of Australia’s best luxury accommodation.
“It’s very exciting – it’s just one of those amazing moments,” Ms Mumbin said.
“I’m so happy to receive an award on behalf on my people.
“It bought tears to my eyes tonight just thinking of all the people who worked really hard to make Cicada Lodge happen.”
When Cicada Lodge won another gold award, this time for best Tourism Restaurant and Catering Services, Ms Mumbin spoke about the importance of the elders’ vision.
“I refer back to my elders and what they really wanted at Nitmiluk,” Ms Mumbin said.
“They wanted to always welcome people on country.
“When we were handed back our land they chose the words “sharing our country.”
Nitmiluk Tours also claimed silver in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category.
It was joined by two other local Northern Territory tourism operators who also won awards.
Katherine Outback Experience won Bronze in Tourist Attractions, and Tourism Central Australia won Bronze for Visitor Information Services.
Minister Moss said the awards were an opportunity to celebrate the very best in tourism and showcase outstanding customer service, innovation and ongoing business excellence.
“The NT tourism industry is worth $2.1 billion to the economy, creates 16,300 jobs, and continues to develop due to the talent and passion of our operators,” Minister Moss said.
“Our tourism operators are incredibly passionate about what they do and that is reflected in the exciting and unique attractions, tours and experiences available to visitors to the NT.
“It’s wonderful to see so many of our 2018 Brolga Awards winners go on to achieve recognition as both finalists and winners at a national level.”