15 November 2013

Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, has congratulated Melbourne Zoo for taking out top honours at this year’s RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.

The Zoo won the coveted Major Tourism Attraction Award in recognition of  a mammoth 150th Anniversary celebration with unique events such as Mali in the City, a campaign that showcased 50 life-sized elephant sculptures displayed in the CBD, as well as a Comedy Debate at Federation Square and the opening of a new exhibit, Growing Wild.

‘Mali in the City brought our iconic zoo to the heart of Melbourne, bringing together 50 talented artists to celebrate the incredible contribution Melbourne Zoo has made to our great city,’ Mr Smith said.

 ‘This is a tremendous achievement and one that is richly deserved. Melbourne Zoo is an iconic tourist attraction for the many thousands of people who visit Melbourne each year.’  While enjoying the Zoo, they have a wonderful opportunity of finding out so much about the world’s wildlife and how they can contribute to its conservation.’

Melbourne Zoo Director, Kevin Tanner, says that the award has recognised that the Zoo holds a very special place in the hearts of many Victorians, ‘we have recently celebrated our 150th birthday, so 2012 was an enormous year for us.

Mr. Tanner says that the Major Tourism Award comes at a very exciting time at the Zoo, ‘We are anticipating the birth of a baby brother or sister for Mali, which could be any day, and will open our new Lemur Island exhibit just before Christmas.’

More than 150 tourism operators competed in 30 business categories, with another three individual and group awards presented at a gala ceremony on 19 November.

As a Victorian Tourism Award winner, Melbourne Zoo progresses to the national Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Sydney next February.

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