Dubbo tourism ventures named finalists in regional tourism awards

Four local tourism ventures have been announced as finalists in the Country and Outback’s Regional Tourism awards. 

The Dubbo Regional Council’s Old Dubbo Gaol and Visiting Information Centre, the Shearing Shed Motor Inn and Manera Heights apartment were listed among the 29 finalists. 

They are now in the running to be named Winners of the Regional Tourism Awards in each of their respective categories at the gala awards ceremony on July 28. 

Shearing Shed Motor Inn co-owners Anne and Trevor Ray, who relocated from Victoria to Dubbo to buy the business two-and-a-half years ago, said they were all about country hospitality.   

Since arriving Ms Ray said they have “focused on refurbishments and delivering family friendly country hospitality.” 

The owners said promoting tourist information, business and events in Dubbo and the surrounding region has been a part of delivering a “real country experience”. 

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Ms Ray said the staff at the motor inn have focused on “making people realise there’s so much more to Dubbo and the region.” 

The team had grown from two to 11 staff in the past two-an-a-half years and had been placed in hte top one per cent of hotels on Tripadvisor. Ms Ray said she needed to thank the staff for their contribution. 

“Our philosophy is that this is our home, so when people come to stay, they’re coming to visit us, that’s the feedback we get from customers, they’re very comfortable, that’s our point of difference,” she said.

On being named finalists Ms Ray said “we’re ecstatic.”

“We’re a small family run motel, and when you’re considered one of the best in the very large district, it’s an absolute compliment to us and to our entire team.” 

Manera Heights apartments owned by Trevor and Joanne Kratzmann have been named as finalists for the third time. 

They have owned the apartments for three years and their star rating has recently been upgraded to 3.5 stars. 

“We are very excited … it is a great reflection of the work we’ve put in over the last couple of years,” Mr Kratzmann said. 

“We try to continuously improve and benchmark industry leaders. We focused on providing accommodation for visiting medical professionals, looking after family and friends of hospital patients, catering for domestic tourists. 

“Hopefully later this year we can start expanding our accommodation,” Mr Kratzmann said. 

The Old Dubbo Gaol was also named a finalist in 2018 Country and Outback’s Regional Tourism Awards. 

“It has a nationally significant collection as well as a contribution to tourism,” Dubbo Regional Council’s Manager of Economic Development and Marketing, Josie Howard said.

“The collection includes over 500 items and the Hangman’s kit and gallows is of national significance, people travel far and wide to access the great service. 

“The gaol has 4.5 stars on Tripadvisor, which is significant because it’s visitors that take the time to rate the experience. For them to be rating it so highly is a credit to the organisation,” she said. 

The Dubbo Visitor Information Centre was also named a finalist. 

“The centre welcomed 70,000 to 80,000 vistors in the last year,” Ms Howard said. 

“It goes to show the integrity and quality of tourism product in the region, it reinforces that we deliver quality products and quality service. It’s really exciting and really humbling,” she said.