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North East Valleys Food and Wine among the best
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North East Valleys Food and Wine has been named the best tourism group in its field, winning the Tourism Product Marketing category at the Melbourne Airport 2005 Victorian Tourism Awards. The awards salute the tourism industry’s leading operators, businesses and individuals. They reinforce the enormous value of tourism to the community, highlight the great experiences on offer across Victoria and recognise the hard work of tourism operators who go that extra step to provide their guests with a quality experience. Winners in this year’s awards were announced across 31 categories ranging from all levels of accommodation to tourism retailing, education and training and marketing. For the first time in four years there were entries from every region in Victoria and in every category. North East valleys Food and Wine was established in 2002, and is a collaborative project between Alpine and Indigo Shires and The Rural City of Wangaratta. The group encompasses the five wine regions of Glenrowan, Rutherglen, Beechworth, King and Alpine Valleys and promotes the North East outside the region. Food and wine operators market collectively through the North East Valleys website, food and wine guide, regional stand at consumer shows and media campaign. "Thanks to all the food and wine operators who supported the North East Valleys project by participating in the group’s collaborative marketing activities, as well as valuable funding from Alpine and Indigo Shires and the rural City of Wangaratta.” Said Nat Pizzini, chairperson for North East Valleys Food and Wine. Tourism Minister John Pandazopoulos congratulated North East Valleys Food and Wine for its achievement. “The awards process is not an easy one, nor is it meant to be,” Pandazopoulos said. “The awards recognise people striving for excellence – it’s not about being first past the post.” As a Victorian Tourism Awards-winner, North East Valleys Food and Wine is now automatically entered into the 2005/06 Australian Tourism Awards to be held on the Gold Coast in February to compete against the best in each State and Territory.