The WA Tourism Awards have become an annual event for Top Drop Tours over the last five years and recently the time came to attend the 2015 Gala Awards Ceremony.
Having spent months preparing our application we were excited to make the finals, but couldn’t believe that our category had 11 finalists, the most competitive category of all!
From charter planes and boats to walking tours and safaris covering the length and breadth of our great state, the Tour and Transport category really does showcase all that is extraordinary about Western Australia.
One day we would love to take time off and do all of the other tours that made the finals, not just this year, but over the last five years. This would be an amazing bucket list trip and might convince me that traveling outside of Western Australia is not necessary!!
After getting on a suit (temperature in Perth 37 degrees) and a few pre-dinner drinks we made our way into the ballroom and were delighted to have the best seats in the house, directly next to the drinks station, no chance of an empty glass, particularly with the Margaret River wine we found.
We settled into our seats, chatted to some old friends and introduced ourselves to some new faces. The funny thing about award ceremonies is that everyone tries to play down how much they want to win, but none of us cover our competitive nature well.
As is usual at these events we hope and wish that our category will be the first so that we can celebrate in style or drown our sorrows, but this never happens. Award after award is presented and the tension grows, one by one the people around us experienced exhilaration or disappointment and with each announcement our blood pressure rose.
Having won the gold medal in each of the previous two years we felt the pressure to complete the hat-trick, in fact it is fair to say that for the first time we were so nervous that we actually felt sick as our category was announced. Thankfully there were no pictures taken as I curled up in the fetal position.
The bronze and silver medal winners were read out, finally the big moment arrived and we won GOLD!!!!!!!!!!
Now one thing is for sure, you should never let a tour guide take control of the microphone and if that tour guide has Irish heritage everyone had better get comfortable.
I hope that the people that we wanted to thank received the message, to be honest I’m not sure that I made any sense at all as the adrenaline took control of my system, thankfully I didn’t get kicked, so I must have done ok.
After winning gold for the third consecutive year we have taken some time to reflect on this achievement. Just six years ago, Top Drop Tours was an idea being developed around the kitchen table, for some crazy reason we decided that starting a tour business was a good idea and we jumped of a very tall cliff.
We know we work hard, create fantastic experiences and take advantage of the amazing opportunities that the Margaret River Region presents. We try our best to help our guests fall in love with Margaret River the way we did, we hope that we are successful and this recognition gives us confidence that we are continuing to move in the right direction.
We can’t thank the Tourism Council Western Australia and the award judges enough for their support. We hope that as our business develops we make you proud of the way we have honoured the responsibility that you have bestowed upon us, we take it seriously and will strive to do our best to show that the value of winning a gold medal at the WA Tourism Awards is far greater than receiving a plaque and using a logo.
The WA Tourism Awards are not about us, as much as we would like to argue to the contrary. There are many fantastic businesses from the Margaret River Region that enter the awards each year. We would like to offer a massive congratulations to Koomal Dreaming who also won their third consecutive gold medal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism, the experiences they create are exceptional. For the second year the Margaret River Pro took out gold for Major Festivals and Events, lets hope that in 2016, big swells make the event just as great as this year.
It is still difficult to comprehend that we have been named the Best Tour Operator in Western Australia in 2013,2014 and 2015. We are excited to represent Western Australia at the Australian Tourism Awards once again and can’t wait to head over to Melbourne, fingers crossed that we can repeat the national gold medal that we received in April this year.
Top Drop Tours has come a long way in a relatively short time, but we are just getting started. We can’t wait to show more people why the Australian tourism industry rates us the best tour operator that the Margaret River Region has ever seen.
We have celebrated, Margaret River style and now we are back to work.