THE cancellation of the annual Regional Tourism Awards has come as no surprise to one Dubbo operator who says the recognition doesn't have the same impact it once did.
A funding shortfall and lack of a major sponsorship partner has been blamed in an announcement made by the awards committee this week.
Until now the annual awards have celebrated the best of the best in the industry, with Dubbo operators regularly featuring as finalists and winners.
The awards are "run on an extremely tight budget under the management of a volunteer board", the committee explained.
Manera Heights Apartments are no strangers to medal wins at the awards and they scored a gold in the self-contained accommodation category in 2018 and silver in 2019.
Owner Trevor Kratzmann said while he was "a little disappointed" the awards had been cancelled, he was not surprised.
We used to be able to track it, we'd have the win and then you'd see the serge for the next six to eight weeks.Manera Heights Apartments owner Trevor Kratzmann
"We've had other properties and when we won state awards we'd see a huge surge in bookings, but it probably doesn't have the same surge it used to," he said.
"We used to be able to track it, we'd have the win and then you'd see the serge for the next six to eight weeks."
Mr Kratzmann said in recent years he had observed that some of the Regional Tourism Awards categories only received a couple of entrants while others received none at all.
Online booking services such as Trivago, Expedia and booking.com have also impacted his business.
"Ten years ago 30 per cent of bookings came from our website, but now that would be down to around five per cent and 30 per cent of bookings come from these websites," he said.
"Those websites won't show that we've won awards."
It is unclear if the awards will run again in the future.
Last year three groups in Dubbo were announced as finalists for an award, they included: Manera Heights Apartments, the Old Dubbo Gaol and Dubbo Regional Council.
On the awards night, Old Dubbo Gaol received gold in the Cultural Tourism category, as well as a bronze for best tourism attraction.
While a gold was also awarded to Dubbo Regional Council in Destination Marketing.
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