Congratulations to Visit Bathurst NSW Visitor Information Centre who’ve won Gold in the Visitor Information Services category for 2021! Well done to Mudgee Region Tourism who took out Silver, Visit Shoalhaven Visitor Services taking home Bronze, and finalists Eden Visitor Information Centre The Judges' Tourism Star Award acknowledges the resilience shown by the tourism industry during a year impacted by floods, bushfires and COVID-19. Out of all of the incredible finalists, the South Coast's very own Eden Visitor Information Centre, were named as the winners in that category. Clair Mudaliar from the Eden Information Centre says the team couldn't be happier to receive the special accolade. "It's definitely a nod to our hardworking team," Ms Mudaliar said. "Our Visitor Information Centre is one of only five per cent in the entire state that's independently run, it's not run by a council or national parks or a government body," she told 2EC.
"So we're staffed by a really hardworking team of dedicated and passionate volunteers, and we're also overseen by a board of volunteers and run by a non profit group," she continued. "To get where we are, for us it's a real mean feat, we're really happy and very proud." In a tough year for tourism judges were looking at resilience and innovation an area the Eden Visitor Information Centre has flourished. "I think we did a good job in that area in the last year," Ms Mudaliar said.
The Eurobodalla Council chose to close down its Visitor Information Centres in May 2021 claiming, on advice from consultants, that no-one used them any more and that Council could no longer afford to run them. This came as a shock to the Narooma Visitor Centre that, like Eden, was run by passionate local volunteers and fantastically managed by Montague Arts and Crafts who used the space to show case and sell quality local arts and crafts. The Narooma Lighthouse Museum and old Visitor Centre remains closed and has done for nearly a year as Council try to find a lessee prepared to rent the building while committing to being a quasi tourism outlet and allowing and supervising any visitors who might like to visit the wonderful Montague Light House museum that remains closed indefinitely.