Two Dubbo attractions have taken home silver at a statewide tourism awards.
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Taronga Western Plains Zoo was awarded silver in the Major Tourist Attractions category, beaten for the top spot in 2023 by the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby.
The Old Dubbo Gaol was awarded silver in the Cultural Tourism category after gold winners Local Sauce Tours in Sydney. The gaol also won bronze in the Tourist Attractions category, topped by a koala sanctuary in Port Stephens and an indoor skydiving centre in Penrith.
Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Mathew Dickerson said the zoo and gaol's wins were proof of the quality of the tourism experience on offer in Dubbo.
"Congratulations to the whole team at Old Dubbo Gaol for winning silver at the NSW Tourism Awards," he said.
"This is a wonderful achievement and a testament to the continued improvements being made to the visitor experience and preservation of this culturally significant site."
"Congratulations also to Taronga Western Plains Zoo who has taken out silver in the Major Tourist Attraction category. It just shows the depth of quality tourism experiences in Dubbo and why our region is such a popular destination for visitors."
For the first time the Dubbo Regional Council also took home an award on the night.
"This was the first time that Dubbo Regional Council has been a finalist in the NSW Government Tourism category, so to place second in this category in the state is a great achievement as well," Cr Dickerson said.
Dubbo's success at the awards night follows a recent report by the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TFF) which named central NSW as among the top ten regional areas in Australia for tourism.
Data from TFF also revealed there had been a significant boom to tourism in central NSW since the COVID-19 pandemic, with visitation numbers nearly 11 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels.
The NSW Tourism awards are managed by the NSW Tourism Industry Council powered by Business NSW and supported by Destination NSW.
"We know our visitors don't just want a selfie in front of the Sydney Opera House, they want to be immersed in the culture of the place and to experience what's happening in and around iconic buildings, secret neighbourhoods, and in our beautiful natural environment," said tourism minister John Graham.
"Cultural activity is so much of why we love our towns and cities and it's a big part of what attracts visitors and what keeps them coming back.
"Congratulations to all the winners and the whole hard-working sector."
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