Melbourne Museum has been recognised as the country’s best tourist attraction at the Australian Tourism Awards, held in Cairns on Friday 2 March 2012.
The museum was awarded the 2011 Qantas Australian Tourism Award for Major Tourist Attraction, ahead of a strong field of nominees that included Sea World, Rottnest Island, Taronga Zoo and Kakadu National Park.
Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu said the award was a boon for the state and provided further evidence of Victoria’s cultural leadership.
“Congratulations to the Museum Victoria team on this outstanding achievement,” Mr Baillieu said.
“From prehistoric fossils to Phar Lap, Indigenous artefacts to Australia’s first computer, Melbourne Museum has an outstanding collection that has made it a must-see destination for Victorians and visitors. There is so much on offer for tourists to this state and this award, Australia’s highest tourism honour, shows that the arts are a key part of Victoria’s competitive advantage.”
Museum Victoria CEO Patrick Greene said this was the first time Melbourne Museum had won the coveted Australian Tourism Award for Major Tourist Attraction. The museum won the award for Major Tourist Attraction the Victorian Tourism Awards in both 2011 and 2010.
The award recognised Melbourne Museum’s success in 2010/2011, a year during which the museum saw 1,428,238 visitors come through its doors - its highest-ever visitation. Of that number, an impressive 538,194 were regional, interstate and international tourists.
“The year was one of major achievement for Melbourne Museum, as we provided both Melburnians and tourists alike, an outstanding program of exhibitions and activities for people of all ages – and of course, free entry for children and concession card holders.”
Dr Greene said Melbourne Museum’s innovative permanent exhibitions combined with internationally acclaimed blockbuster exhibitions such as Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition and Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs had made it the country’s most popular museum.
“And now, Melbourne Museum has been recognised as Australia’s best tourist attraction.”
Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition attracted 480,879 visitors, while Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs last year became the most successful touring exhibition in Australian history with a record 796,277 visitors.
The Australian Tourism Awards are the tourism industry’s peak awards – recognising and promoting excellence in tourism.
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