The Canowindra Balloon Challenge is on its way to more possible state-wide glory and marketing publicity with a place in the finals of this year’s Inland Tourism Awards.
And we’ll know in just under three weeks’ time whether the annual balloon spectacular has beaten tourism attractions and projects from five NSW inland regions to go through again to the state finals.
The balloon challenge won the silver medal in the NSW awards last year, and committee stalwart Jan Kerr reckons this could well be the year it takes out the top prize.
“The inland awards are open to tourism attractions literally anywhere west of the Blue Mountains,” Jan says.
“To reach the finals against these five regions alone is a triumph for the balloon challenge and Canowindra.
“But once in the state finals we’re up against the huge tourism structure of Sydney and major coastal venues.”
The winner of the Inland Tourism Awards will be announced at a dinner in Griffith on Saturday July 26.
Win or lose, the occasion will coincide with other efforts by the Balloon Challenge Committee to boost its profile as a spectacular tourism event throughout the inland region.
According to Chairman Arthur Falconer the committee is planning to work with the Canowindra Business Chamber to come up with “what we can do better for the region and what we can get out of it in terms of local business.
“The idea will be to not just attract more regional visitors to the balloon event but also get them into the Canowindra main street and shop while they’re here.
“We’ll be persuading them to make the Balloon Glow, for example, a Fun Day, rather than simply a fun couple of hours in the evening.”
By Derek Maitland