BERMAGUI and Tathra have been recognised for their ability to attract tourists.
Seaview Beach Houses Bermagui, and Tathra Beach and Bike were among the winners at the South Coast Tourism Awards.
More than 270 people attended a black tie gala event in Shellharbour on Wednesday night.
Seaview Beach Houses took out the honour for accommodation self-catering and serviced apartments.
Meanwhile, Tathra Beach and Bike won the award for general tourism service or product.
Seaview Beach Houses beat a strong field of businesses, including fellow Bega Valley business Tathra Beach House Apartments.
Owners Len and Wendy Slater were on their way home when contacted by the BDN yesterday.
Seaview Beach Houses is one of Bermagui’s newest businesses, having only been operating for eight months.
Mr Slater said the win came down to hard work by his family, including his son Scott, daughter Sonya and son-in-law Dragan Sancanin.
“We’re absolutely over the moon – it’s a wonderful award,” he said.
“It’s humbling because there are a lot of great businesses involved, but also gratifying.”
Tathra Beach and Bike secured its second successive victory in the competition.
Last year, owner Jane Corben and her team were successful in the specialist tourism services class (BDN, 21/8/12).
Ms Corben had just walked back into her shop when the BDN called her yesterday.
She said it was a satisfying win.
“It’s good, we’re really pleased,” Ms Corben said.
“I wasn’t feeling too confident beforehand…but this product is bringing people into town.”
Ms Corben recently told the BDN the award win “gives us credibility”.
She said Tathra Beach and Bike had benefitted from the increasing popularity of mountain bike riding.
The South Coast Tourism Awards recognise excellence in tourism over the past financial year.
Businesses and organisations between Wollongong and the Victorian border were invited to apply for the competition.
Two other Bega Valley-based businesses were successful in 2013.
Cat Balou Cruises, Eden, took out the ecotourism award while Merimbula Beach NRMA Holiday Park received the honour for tourist and caravan parks 4 AAA rating and above.
Acting chairwoman of the South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation Diane Johnston said she was thrilled by the standard of entries received for the awards.
“Over twice the number entered in 2013 this year over last year,” she said.
The organisation’s executive officer Tom Phillips said tourism contributed more than $2billion annually to the South Coast economy and employed more than 21,000 people.