Southern Stars of Tourism

Shining a Light on Hobart & Beyond

Southern Stars of Tourism brings together our industry in a celebration of all the great things being done in our region to develop and promote tourism.

There are five Star categories which recognise our industry’s commitment to innovation, excellence and leadership to deliver great visitor experiences.

Prizes are specifically selected to help winners develop themselves or their businesses further and include advertising air time and print space; content development and distribution; and leadership development opportunities. A big thank you to our prize sponsors: Southern Cross Austereo, The Mercury, Hype, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, Handbuilt Creative and Tourism Brochure Exchange. Winners were announced at the Southern Stars Gala Cocktail Event at the Hobart Town Hall on Thursday, 4 April, 2019.

To see the photo gallery from the Gala, click on the button below.

Starlight (industry leadership)

This category recognises those individuals who go ‘above and beyond’ to contribute to the continuous improvement of the southern Tasmanian tourism industry. Previously, this category has been specifically aimed at recognising the contribution of volunteers in tourism, however this year, both volunteers and paid employees are eligible.

Prize package includes:

  • Participation in the Tasmanian Leaders 2019 I-LEAD Program, sponsored by the Office of the Premier
  • Day Registration at the 2019 DST Summit

019 Winner: Sarah Thomas

Sarah is Partnerships Manager at RACT but she won this category for her work as:

  • President of SKAL in 2018
  • A board member of Business Events Tasmania
  • And as a judge for the Tasmanian and Australian Tourism Awards

Commendation: Gary Ashdown

Gary owns and runs Ashdowns of Dover with his wife Lorraine but in his spare time he is:

  • President and Public Officer of Far South Tasmania
  • Lead organiser of Dover Seafest
  • Committee member of the Dover RSL
  • And participates in the activities of the Dover and South Action Group, the Dover Christmas Parade and Far South Future

Other noteworthy finalists included:

  • Cally Lyons (Rathmore) – Bothwell Historical Society, Derwent Valley Tasmania, Women in Tourism and Hospitality, Collaborations with industry
  • Deb Patrick (Port Arthur Villas) – Port Arthur and Tasman Tourism Association, Backpacker Operator Network
  • Emma Gilligan (Old Kempton Distillery) – Tas Whisky Week
  • Kristy Booth-Lark (Killara Disitllery) – Tas Whisky Week
  • Rachel Power (Waterfalls Cafe and Gallery) – Derwent Valley Council, Destination Southern Tasmania Board, Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania Board, 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards finalist
  • Simon French (Maydena Bike Park) – Contribution to the development of the Tasmanian Mountain Bike industry, Community engagement at Maydena with provision of a free access track

Rising Star (age 30 and under)

This category is about recognising the work of our region’s younger industry leaders. This is an opportunity to highlight the work the nominee has done to improve the performance of a business, either back of house or on the front line, and their contribution to the regional tourism industry.

Prize package includes:

  • Participation in the Tasmanian Leaders 2019 I-LEAD Program, sponsored by Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service
  • Day Registration at the 2019 DST Summit

2019 Winner: Tahlia Cavarretta, Media Coordinator, Mona

Jasmine Power, Junior Ranger, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service
Rhys Ellis, General Manager, Maydena Bike Park

Bright Star (Innovation)

This category is all about innovation and recognising the businesses which are applying innovative approaches to tourism. Submissions should focus on what the nominee is doing a bit differently than others and how they are leading by example. Innovation might be in the form of collaboration,  cooperative marketing, creative approaches to customer service, new marketing ideas, utilising digital technologies, social media, unique interpretation and original event creation.

Prize package includes:

  • Southern Cross airtime package valued at $2500
  • Digital consultation from Handbuilt Creative to the value of $500
  • Southern Stars highlight on DST regional map
  • DST mentoring support for 2019 TICT Tasmanian Tourism Awards

2019 Winner:
Tasmanian eBike Adventures for Maria Island Adventure
Commendation: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery for Dinosaur rEvolution
Other Finalists:
  • Bruny Island Safaris for Cape Bruny Lighthouse Tours
  • Frogmore Creek Winery for The Island Bite Experience
  • Hadley’s Orient Hotel for its arts program
  • Hawthorn Lodge for the service it provides to self-guided walking and cycling groups
  • Hobart Airport for Furry Feathered Friends Alert #watchoutforwildlife Campaign
  • Osborne Heli Tours for its carbon offsetting program
  • SailTas for its “Slow Tourism” concept
  • Skybus for it Hobart City to Airport shuttle service

Nova (New Business)

This category is about showcasing new businesses in the south that have enhanced the visitor experience in the region. The nominee does not necessarily have to be a tourism operation; it may be a supporting service. The focus here is to show how the introduction of this business made a difference to tourism in a local area or the wider region.

Prize package includes:

  • Content production services from Hype to the value of $1000
  • Six month screening package with Tourism Brochure Exchange, valued at $1700
  • Southern Stars highlight on DST regional map
  • DST mentoring support for 2019 TICT Tasmanian Tourism Awards

2019 Winner:
Maylands Lodge
Commendation: Esperance Adventures
Other Finalists:
  • Above and Beyond Tasmanian Seaplanes
  • Evolve Spirits Bar
  • Harrison Grove
  • Highland Getaway
  • kunanyi/Mount Wellington Explorer Bus
  • Maydena Bike Park
  • Pooseum
  • Port Arthur Express Shuttle
  • The Rooftop Bar
  • Tasmania Gourmet Food Tours

Stardom (Brand Excellence)

Through this category we recognise operators who are supporting our core regional brand strengths of arts and culture; food and beverages; waterways; nature and wildlife; or history and heritage.  We’re looking for feedback from visitors that demonstrates the lasting memories that have been created through standards of excellence and unique experiences.

Prize package:

  • Advertising package to the value of $2500 with The Mercury
  • Content production from Hype to the value of $500
  • Southern Stars highlight on DST regional map
  • DST mentoring support for 2019 TICT Tasmanian Tourism Awards

2019 Winner:
Fat Pig Farm
Commendation: Willie Smith’s Apple Shed
Other finalists:
  • Ashdowns of Dover
  • Bruny Island Safaris
  • Driftwood Cottages
  • The Henry Jones Art Hotel
  • The Heritage and Bullock Festival in Oatlands
  • Heritage Sailing Tasmania
  • SailTas
  • The Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre
  • The Old Woolstore
  • The Peninsula Experience
  • The Point Revolving Restaurant

Thank you to our Southern Stars partners: