Since emerging onto the Tasmanian tourism landscape in 2019, the Lap of Tasmania has fostered strong, lasting and meaningful connections between travellers and local Tassie tourism businesses.
In its early days it was as simple as providing quality content that answered the many questions being asked by road trippers planning their holiday in Tasmania.
Now, as the Lap of Tasmania community has grown to include more than 25,000 members it provides opportunities to not only reach more travellers, but to also hear so many more travel stories and to discover the individuals and businesses in the Tasmanian tourism industry who are making their mark on Tassie travellers and their holiday experiences.
Within the online Lap of Tasmania community we are reminded on a daily basis of the many examples of great customer service being experienced by travellers, but as is the nature of social media, unfortunately they get buried in a matter of minutes among all the other conversations occurring at the same time.
It got me thinking that there must a be a better way of providing this spotlight. A way that celebrates these legends of Tassie tourism, not just within our own community but across Tasmania, Australia, and the world.
And so the Lap of Tasmania “Award for Outstanding Customer Service in Tourism” was born!
The nomination and selection process
As we all emerged from our post-Xmas/NYE slumber, as part of my annual travel survey I also asked the Lap of Tasmania community to nominate an individual or business who provided them with a wonderful customer service experience during their Tassie travels in 2022.
But that wasn’t all, I was also interested in understanding exactly what it was about that experience that made such a difference to their Tasmania road trip.
- An individual or business who went above and beyond to help them on their travels?
- A life-changing experience that was only made possible because of the individual or team behind the scenes?
- A business doing great things for disadvantaged travellers?
- Or maybe an individual or business that turned a potentially horrible experience into a positive, unforgettable travel story?
It didn’t need to be all about grand gestures or Hollywood moments either – I was just as interested in the ‘little’ things that often go unappreciated. If it made a difference to our community members or to those around them – no matter how large or small – then I asked them to tell me all about it 😊
In establishing this award I was also very clear from the outset that it wasn’t going to be a popularity contest where the most ‘likes’ or votes would determine the outcome.
In my experience these rarely reward the smaller businesses and individuals who provide just as good, if not better service than the large businesses, but who don’t have access to the massive social networks like those of the big companies.
Instead, I personally reviewed every single nomination and made my own judgement on the merits of each, before selecting the business that stood out the most.
And wow… what a response!
Dozens of nominations were received, covering every single possible tourism niche and business imaginable.
Not surprising at all, given Tasmania’s reputation for being so welcoming and friendly to visitors – but it certainly made it a lot more difficult trying to narrow it down to a single business.
Honestly, it was the best possible problem I could have.
Winner – “Award for Outstanding Customer Service in Tourism”
I am very pleased to announce that the winner of the “Award for Outstanding Customer Service in Tourism” goes to… <drum roll>
🎊🍾 Craigie Knowe Vineyard 🍾🎊
One of our community members put it perfectly in her nomination:
“There is not one person I can single out, as the entire team at the vineyard was amazing. From the expert knowledge of the wines on offer, to the pizza man making fresh-to-order pizzas, the lovely young lady serving the most delicious house made desserts and cheese boards.
We have young children so going to a winery is usually a ‘divide and conquer’ kind of experience for us where we take turns sampling wine while the other watches the kids.
But not here!
The atmosphere was chill and laid back. They welcomed and made our children feel comfortable that they could make noise and run around in the back with their dogs playing fetch.
This rare treat meant my husband and I got to share an experience together. Not to mention the beautiful wines – and we ended up buying a few as it was too hard to choose. Hands down the best winery!“– Stef (Lap of Tasmania Facebook Group)
How good is that?!
Congratulations to the entire team at Craigie Knowe. You have clearly made a massive impact on Tasmanian road trippers of all walks of life, but what really stood out to me is how well you look after families visiting your fantastic vineyard. It isn’t always easy achieving this balance in catering to couples and larger groups of adults, without compromising on the family experience – but you have absolutely nailed it!
It has been too long between wines for me and my wife, and this is the perfect encouragement to make the short drive over to Cranbrook and experience this for ourselves – a Sunday high tea sounds (and looks) incredible as well.
📍 80 Glen Gala Road, Cranbrook
☎️ 0499 901 109
⏳ 7 days, 11am – 4pm
All our nominees (and some special mentions)
It was so difficult choosing a winner out of all the incredibly diverse nominations that I received, and all are worthy of recognition and praise.
Here is the full list, with a few at the top of the list who really stood out, either in terms of the quality or number of nominations received.
- Hospital In The Home (HITH) – While not strictly within the tourism industry, this nomination is incredibly worthy of recognition. The life-saving efforts of Doctors Katie Bourke and David Buchanan and the Tasmanian team behind Hospital in the Home were invaluable in meeting the needs of two of our community members while travelling in regional Tasmania. I wasn’t previously aware of this fantastic initiative, where a ‘virtual’ acute care ward is made available to adult inpatients who can’t physically visit the Royal Hobart Hospital to receive treatment. It is a wonderful initiative, ensuring quality physical and mental health care is accessible by those who need it most. Please click here and here if you would like to learn more.
- World Heritage Cruises – Very nearly taking out the top spot, World Heritage Cruises stand out for the consistently helpful and friendly service provided in all aspects of their business – from those on the phones, to the guides on their wonderful cruises up the Gordon River, and even the cleaning staff. It really is a family business, and it shines through in everything they do!
- Brooks Motor Works (Derby) – Our member didn’t catch the name of the young man from Brooks Motor Works in Derby who – on his day off – offered friendly and immediate assistance when he saw them with a flat tyre near Mount Paris Dam.
- Pennicotts Wilderness Journeys – One of Tasmania’s premier tourism experiences, receiving multiple nominations for friendly customer service and wonderful experiences out on the water.
- Left of Field Camping Gardens – Adrian and Mel continue to make a real difference to travellers visiting Mt Field and beyond, going out of their way to provide advice and to help visitors feel at home in their quirky camping ground.
- The Pondering Frog – Lester and Collette are a font of local knowledge and travel advice, and they never fail to make travellers feel welcome over an icecream or other tasty treat.
- Wonders of Wynyard Visitor Information Centre – It is easy to see why the team at Wonders of Wynyard represent their region so strongly at the annual Tasmanian Tourism Awards. Our community praised them for going the extra mile in helping them to plan and enjoy the perfect itinerary up in Tassie’s north west.
- LeisureRent – Our community were very thankful to Ken and the team at LeisureRent for their flexibility and friendliness in helping them to select the right vehicle for their Tasmanian road trip, and in his prompt response to any questions they had while on the road.
- Ashdowns of Dover (Dover) – Lorraine and Gary get so much love from our community of travellers as they help them explore Tassie’s far south. It is this super friendly approach and attention to detail that result in Ashdowns of Dover being quoted so often as a visitor’s ‘home away from home‘.
- Hagley RV Farmstay
- Queenstown Cabin and Tourist Park
- Apartments on Fraser (Bicheno)
- Astor Private Hotel (Hobart) – Tildy received a special mention!
- Bay of Fires Eco Tour
- Wagners Cottages (Swansea) – Special shout out to Belinda!
- Brickendon Colonial Farm (Longford)
- Ross Village Bakery
- Bridport Seaside Caravan Park
- Corinna Wilderness Village
- Cradle Mountain Highlanders Cottages
- Queechy Motel
- Cradle Mountain Shop
- Derwent Distillery (Dromedary) – many thanks to Robbie at the Bellerive Markets!
- Bay of Fires Fishing Adventures
- Discovery Ranger at Bay of Fires – A special mention to the Park Ranger who provided animated storytelling with all the children at Swimcart Beach camp ground
- Esperance Adventures (Far South Tasmania) – Many thanks to Matt!
- Cascades Female Factory (Hobart)
- Blake’s Manor (Deloraine) – A big thank you to Georgia and Peter!
- Hollybank Wilderness Adventures (Underwood)
- Highland Getaways (Ranelagh) – Julie received a very special mention!
- Lifestyle Caravans (Ulverstone)
- Scottsdale Military Museum – A fantastic tour provided by Al!
- Paul’s Tassie Tours
- Quamby Corner Caravan Park (Golden Valley)
- Richmond Botanicals
- Rosebery Bakehouse
- Mersey Bluff Caravan Park – Special mention to Sally!
- Small Wonder Wines (Kayena) – A fantastic experience provided by Sam!
- Spring Bay Distillery
- Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (Three Capes)
- The Orient Hotel Hobart
- Tullah Lakeside Lodge
- Cradle Mountain NP – A huge thank you for the great wombat tour provided by tour guide Tyler!
- The Wellington B&B (Longford)
- Willis and Friends Clothing (Deloraine)
If that epic list above isn’t enough to get you out on the road and tracking down some of Tasmania’s best tourism businesses, then I don’t know what will!
For me, I’m looking forward to continuing to provide fun, informative and super useful content to help you all enjoy your time in Tasmania, and to continue building new partnerships with tourism businesses across the island – especially in regional Tasmania.
Happy travels, and here’s to creating more incredible travel memories in 2023!