FOOD Week, Lakeview Luxury Cabins and the Canowindra Balloon Challenge will represent the region as finalists at the NSW Tourism Awards next month.
The annual Orange food festival and the balloon challenge were selected in the festivals and events category with six other nominees, while the cabins will be in the self-contained accommodation category with three other hopefuls.
FOOD Week president James Sweetapple said he was “very, very happy” to reach the finalists’ list.
“After 27 years, we’ve got true credibility and we do an excellent job year after year,” he said.
“Last year were pipped at the post by the Deni Ute Muster [as a finalist], the application process is quite rigorous.”
Mr Sweetapple said entrants had to submit their business plan, occupational health and safety processes, complaints and food handling procedures and financial records as part of the application in a strict format.
“They send an independent auditor to proof your documents, but it’s good for us as a volunteer association to have someone double check our processes, it’s helpful in that way,” he said.
“Last year, we gave them too much information, but those are the rules.”
Mr Sweetapple wanted to see the volunteers recognised for their work.
“We’re very serious about doing the best we can to promote this region,” he said.
Cabins owner Pam King said she hoped to beat the bronze medal the business won last year.
“We hope to go at least one better this year, we’re very excited again,” she said.
Mrs King said involvement with the awards had encouraged she and husband Trevor to strive higher and also boosted the business’s exposure, including a spot in the top 10 romantic getaways featured in Sydney media for Valentine’s Day.
“Little things like that have helped,” she said.
Mrs King said innovation was also among the criteria, which she believed the business had performed strongly in.
“We got the two one-bedroom cabins and we finished a third two-bedroom cabin three months ago,” she said.
The NSW Tourism Awards black-tie gala will be held on Thursday, November 16 at the Sydney International Convention Centre.
Parkes Elvis Festival, Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the Old Dubbo Gaol have been among the central west’s highest achievers in recent years.