A SMALL Halls Gap tourism business has received national recognition at the 2018 Australian Tourism Awards.
Golton in the Gap was named a finalist in the self-contained accommodation category at the awards, which were held on March 1 in Launceston.
The recognition follows a gold award in the 2018 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.
Co-owner Roslyn Hill, who runs the property with husband Daryl, said the outcome was astounding as they had only been running it for two years.
"We were absolutely astounded on the night," she said.
"We've tried to make it as good as we can, to meet that market and provide for guests coming to the region and make it a really great experience for them."
The pair live on a farm at St Helens Plain, and the journey into the tourism industry began about 10 years ago.
"It's a family farm, my husband's always been here but for more than 30 years he's always wanted a holiday house at Halls Gap, because for him that was a way to stay somewhere close without looking at agricultural land, (which is his) work," Ms Hill said.
"We were (casually) looking for ten years, then that block came up for sale and we could build what we wanted, and purpose built it for a holiday market."
Ms Hill said they really considered what visitors wanted when they were building the property, and how they could use it to best highlight the beautiful region.
"The most pleasing aspect of these awards are that we are representing the Grampians region and hoping through promotion to draw further attention to this region we live in, and to encourage additional interest for visitation to the region and all the attractions within," Ms Hill said.
"We are passionate about the region, living at St Helens Plains where we overlook the Grampians, and about Halls Gap and the importance of the tourism industry for the town and region."
The business has also been a chance to support other small businesses in the region.
"To have a business in Halls Gap, which is a tourist destination town, certainly changes our perception of the town and the region," Ms Hill said.
"We're probably a lot more focused on watching and being actively interested in what is happening, and using our business to enhance other local businesses and use them when we can to support the region.
"We've tried to take a number of opportunities to partner with other local businesses to provide - whether it be experiences or things in our house - just to spread the name of local businesses and use local produce, and make sure we're not only focused on our business but on developing that regional tourism more broadly."
In 2017 the Hills also received the Silver award at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards and it has also been featured on the Chanel Nine travel program Postcards.
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