They may have been named as the best in the state but two Orange businesses say the region can't rest on its laurels.
The NSW Tourism Awards 2022 were held on November 17 with two out of the four Orange businesses shortlisted coming home with gongs.
Byng Street Boutique Hotel won gold in the Four to Four and a Half Star category while Country Food Trails finished with bronze in the Excellence in Food Tourism section.
Antica Australia Italian restaurant in Carcoar also won bronze in the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services category.
Byng Street Boutique Hotel owner Thomas Nock said balance had been key to the business winning back-to-back gold medals.
"It's a combination of things," he said when asked how the hotel maintained its place atop the podium.
"Coming out of COVID we needed to be making sure the marketing was good and we were maintaining what made it special in first place.
"Keeping a high level of repeat clients and having that great word of mouth [was crucial]. Also reflecting on what we can do better like making fertiliser out of unused food, which is something different for us.
"Having great staff who understand our really personal approach to hospitality was important, it's what makes us different."
Both Mr Nock and Country Food Trails director Nicole Farrell shared the opinion that Orange was a unique but sometimes misunderstood destination.
"It feels like an obvious place to me [to visit]," Mr Nock said.
"We should always be pushing our uniqueness. That should be our bread and butter. We can't rest on our laurels just because people discovered Orange between the two lockdowns.
"There's lost of positives. We already have a good range of things to do but we're big enough to keep pushing."
The Daily has extensively reported the challenges business in the colour city are facing with staffing a key concern among others.
Ms Farrell said she had experienced a slow start to the warmer months thanks to extreme weather and called for more to be done to convince people to make the trip out west.
"Things are terrible, I can't sugar coat it," Ms Farrell said bluntly.
"If you search on Google for anything in Orange it comes up with a flood warning.
"One vineyard we were at on Saturday we were the only ones and it was a beautiful day.
"The perception is it's too hot to come here in the summer," she continued.
"It gets hot further west out towards Dubbo but we are not a hot summer region. They (tourism) really need to run with that narrative I think."
Also present at the awards were Orange Trike Tours and the Remington Hotel Orange.
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