Taronga Zoo is celebrating being named best ‘Major Attraction’ at the NSW Tourism Industry Awards at the Grand Pavilion, Rosehill Gardens Racecourse last Friday night.
The awards recognise and promote excellence in NSW tourism, with many high profile attractions competing. Taronga was selected from the range of stellar nominations to take home the coveted award.
Taronga Zoo Director and Chief Executive, Cameron Kerr, said: “We are very proud to have won this award and would like to thank the Tourism Industry Council and Tourism NSW for recognising the unique contribution Taronga makes to our state tourism sector.”
“In our 94 year history, Taronga has welcomed over 100 million visitors, giving them a unique wildlife experience.”
“This award demonstrates that people are interested in our work for wildlife and that conservation is fascinating and exciting. It also makes us uniquely positioned to educate and inspire the community about conservation issues and hopefully positively influence their attitudes and behaviours.”
“For domestic and international tourists a trip to the Zoo for the chance to encounter wildlife and take in the breathtaking harbour at the ‘Zoo with the view’ is high up on their itinerary. NSW has some premier tourist attractions, so it’s indeed a privilege to be considered so highly.” As a favourite tourist destination Taronga Zoo now offers a training course to help individuals prepare for an exciting career in tourism. Learn onsite from industry professionals and immerse yourself in NSW’s best major attraction.
The birth of the three Asian Elephant calves over the past two years has also confirmed the support and community involvement in Taronga Zoo. “After the birth of Australia’s first elephant calf, ‘Luk Chai’ we received a staggering 34,000 entries for this public naming competition,” said Cameron.
“The industry accolade confirms that Taronga continues to play a vital role in connecting people with wildlife, a vital role considering the pressures our natural environment faces in this increasing urbanised world.”“This award recognises the effort all of our staff have put into making Taronga not just one of the best zoos in Australia, but one that can stand proudly amongst the best zoological parks in the world. We are of a world class standard and we continue to strive to maintain that,” said Cameron.
Throughout the past few years additions to the Zoo including the Great Southern Oceans exhibit that introduces visitors to marine animals like Leopard Seals and Little Penguins, as well an upgraded platform for visitors to get magically close to the Zoo’s giraffe herd have all enhanced the tourist experience. The newly opened Tasmanian Devil Breeding Centre at Taronga is also inspiring visitors who want to discover just how this remarkable animal lives, while learning about the threats it faces.“Taronga is a very unique place. We are a favourite with tourists, locals and children but at our core we are a conservation organisation, a wildlife rehabilitation and research centre and education facility. That’s what makes the Zoos a very different sort of attraction, drawing a wide cross-section of people keen to discover more about the wonders of wildlife,” said Cameron.