Australian Wooden Boat Festival wins Gold at Australian Tourism Awards

The MyState Bank Australian Wooden Boat Festival took out Gold for Major Festivals and Events at the national Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra on Friday night.

Festival General Manager, Paul Stephanus, said the Festival had taken on ‘titans’ of the Australian tourism industry – and thanked the 400-strong volunteers for its success.

“The Festival was up against the likes of Vivid Sydney, Darwin Festival and the National Museum of Australia – titans of the tourism industry. Tasmania has once again punched above its weight and I’m looking forward to the next stage of the journey,” he said.

“Festival Chairman Steve Knight and I dedicate our big win to the 400 enthusiastic and committed volunteers that bring this Festival to life every second year.”

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival was last nominated for the award in 2015 and finished runner-up. The event was one of 17 of 25 category winners for Tasmania – more medals than any other state or territory.

Tasmanian Premier, Peter Gutwein, said the award-winning Tasmanian businesses “demonstrate the breadth and depth of our incredible offerings as a state.”

“When it comes to tourism, Tasmania is world-class and last night's Tourism awards were a spectacular recognition of our success,” he said.

From its humble beginnings in 1994, the MyState Bank Australian Wooden Boat Festival has grown to be the most significant event of its kind in Australia, while injecting an estimated $30 million into the Hobart economy biannually.

The 2021 Festival, to be held from February 5-8, will bring people from around the world to Hobart’s spectacular waterfront to celebrate the largest and most beautiful collection of wooden boats in the Southern Hemisphere.

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the Festival, around half of them from interstate and overseas. Australia will be the featured nation, highlighting the diversity in wooden boat design and history across the country.

Over 500 wooden boats will be on display with 100 exhibitors. The Festival showcases wooden boats of all sizes including canoes, dinghies and kayaks, along with yachts and tall ships.

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