Orange has been voted the best emerging travel destination in Australia and the South Pacific for 2019 by a popular blog’s audience and experts.
Readers of Travel Lemming nominated Orange as one of the region’s top six spots alongside Wellington, New Zealand; Kangaroo Island, South Australia; Lord Howe Island; Warrumbungle National Park, NSW; and Tasmania.
A panel of judges then decided on Orange as the place to visit next year.
Orange 360 general manager Caddie Marshall said the panel’s announcement – “if relaxation was a colour it would be Orange” – was on the money, with part of the city’s attraction for overseas visitors the opportunity to slow down.
We have beautiful stars, great lookouts, you can take your time and not be rushed.Orange 360 general manager Caddie Marshall
“We have beautiful stars, great lookouts, you can take your time and not be rushed,” she said.
Ms Marshall said international visitors were looking for lesser known destinations, and part of the tourism organisation’s goal was to put Orange on that list.
“We want people to feel like they are discovering a whole new destination,” she said.
While the Travel Lemming judges pointed to Orange’s evolving wine and food industry as reason for foodies to travel, Ms Marshall said the very thing which makes our vineyards unique is what gave the city broader appeal.
“Orange is one of the few wine regions in the world to have our GI [Geographical Indication] classified by altitude above 600 metres,” Mr Marshall said.
She said that landscape lent itself to mountain biking and road cycle challenges, which the organisation hoped would help put surrounding towns on the map.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said tourism got a boost this year after Cabonne, Blayney Shire and Orange City councils joined forces to create the 360 brand.
In 2018 Orange welcomed more than 1.2 million tourists, hosted over 200 community events and delivered several high-profile conferences, including the Town Planners Conference and NSW Regional Tech Expo.
“We also had the Regional Tourism Awards and the NSW/ACT Regional Achievement and Community Awards conferences bringing hundreds of people into our retail stores, restaurants and cafes across the city,” Cr Kidd said.
Ms Marshall said in 2019 Orange360’s focus would be to tell stories of local characters, target a younger market, and highlight cultural events.
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