The night’s big winners included Life’s An Adventure, which won three awards in the tour and transport operators, ecotourism and adventure tourism categories; Fairmont Resort Mgallery won the deluxe accommodation and business tourism categories; and Billabong Retreat was the winner of the health and wellbeing tourism (a new category) and unique accommodation awards. Outstanding contribution to tourism in NSW by an individual was awarded to YHA Australia chief executive Julian Ledger, while the young achiever in tourism award went to Tilma Group managing director Linda Tillman. Tourism businesses in New South Wales were recognised and celebrated last night at the 2013 NSW Tourism Awards, during a lavish black tie gala dinner at Royal Randwick in Sydney. Source = ETB News: L.B. NSW Tourism Award winners automatically become finalists in the Qantas Australian Awards in Sydney, to be held in February 2014. “Tourism currently contributes more than AU$50,000 every minute to the NSW economy, reflecting an increase of over 6 percent since 2011,” Minister for Major Tourism and Events George Souris said. Taronga Zoo Sydney was the proud winner of the Destination NSW sponsored award for major tourist attraction, while Byron Bay Bluesfest won the major festival and events award. “Tourism is the lifeblood of many of our State’s regional towns and we are committed to promoting tourism in the regions, as well as supporting events that create local jobs, providing a boost to regional economies even further.” 32 categories across the state’s travel and tourism sector were recognised, including attractions, festivals and events, ecotourism, tour and transport operators and accommodation.