Mandurah local named Best Tour Guide at Australian Top Tourism Town Awards

The winners of this year’s Australia’s Top Tourism Award have been announced, with Mandurah resident Jamie Van Jones named Australia’s Best Tour Guide and the town of Mandurah taking bronze in the Best Tourist Town category.

Jamie Van Jones of Salt and Bush Eco Tours is the first tour guide to be nationally awarded for the category.

The FACET Golden Guide Awards have been celebrated in WA for over 30 years, while the national equivalent is in its second.

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Mandurah won bronze in this year’s Top Tourism Town category after winning gold at the state level in June.

Exmouth, another WA favourite, has been named Australia’s best small tourist town.

The awards ceremony aims to showcase the value of tourism to cities and communities across Australia while celebrating the diversity of regional destinations across the country.

After a decade in the tourism industry, Ms Van Jones said it was an absolute honor and privilege to receive such a significant award.

“I have found a job and a career that I am so in love with and to be rewarded in this way is huge, but at the same time daunting,” Ms Van Jones told the Mandurah Coastal Times. “To be Australia’s Best Tour Guide for 2022 is definitely something I will always strive to be up to.”

Ms Van Jones and her husband Sebastian decided to open their Salt and Bush Eco Tours business two years ago after rediscovering the beauty of Mandurah during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Mandurah is often overlooked for its natural values ​​and is often a place where people may stop but then continue driving south west; we have some of the most amazing nature,” she said.

“I just saw that there is so much potential for the beauty of our waterways, the diversity, the animals and plants that we have around us, and so I thought this was an amazing opportunity to start something where I could really showcase our beautiful Mandurah (and) Peel region.

Camera iconJamie Van Jones of Salt and Bush Eco Tours voted Best Tour Guide for 2022. Credit: Provided

Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams said the town was proud to have won bronze in Australia’s Top Tourism Town Awards.

“It’s a huge affirmation that Mandurah is such a special and important place in WA for so many people, brimming with amazing experiences for everyone,” Mr Williams said.

“Mandurah is truly one of the most spectacular and unique water playgrounds in the country, with so many opportunities to immerse yourself in our beautiful natural assets. Add to that plenty of great local places to eat, drink and relax, plus our calendar of exciting events, and it truly is the perfect recipe.

“There are so many exciting times on the horizon as we prepare to host the Crab Fest again in 2023, the Thomas Dambo Giants of Mandurah on the way in November, as well as a great range of events and attractions all year round, there really is something for everyone in our city.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the WA winners and runners-up have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to delivering high-quality experiences.

“After such a long history of recognizing passionate and dedicated tour guides who create memorable guest experiences through the FACET Golden Guide Award in WA, it is incredibly exciting for WA’s Jamie Van Jones to win the first national Top Guide Award” , said Mr. Hall. said.