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Reflections wins top gong at inaugural Newcastle Hospitality and Tourism Awards

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Reflections Holiday Parks is in celebration mode this week after winning the top gong at the inaugural Newcastle Hospitality and Tourism Awards.

The social enterprise organisation, headquartered in the city, was named Employer of the Year.

Eduardo Molina, of Flotilla Restaurant, picked up Employee of the Year and Gus and Louise Maher’s Hunter Valley Events company secured Industry Support Partner of the Year.

More than 200 people from the sector attended the gala event, presented by the Newcastle Tourism Industry Group, at Carrington’s Earp Distillery Co on Monday 22 May.

Reflections Holiday Parks chief executive officer Nick Baker.

Reflections is the state’s largest holiday park group, operating 36 facilities and welcoming two million visitors across regional NSW each year.

All profit is reinvested in public land, such as nature reserves.

The Employer of the Year category cited the past three difficult years in hospitality and tourism, highlighting the “flexible and resilient, forward-thinking and at times slightly stoic” enterprises who had risen to the challenge while still ensuring a fantastic guest experience.

Reflections chief executive officer Nick Baker said the award meant an enormous amount to the entire team in its Newcastle “base camp”, as well as its park managers and operations staff throughout NSW.

“Amid so much uncertainty in our industry in recent years, we continued to adapt and introduce a range of measures to enhance the work environment and careers of our staff,” he explained.

“Measures included increasing diversity and inclusivity with the development of our first Reconciliation Action Plan, beginning our journey towards B-Corp certification and providing additional leave for employees to foster their wellbeing and resilience.”

Reflections, also a Crown Land manager, cares for 23,000 acres of public land on behalf of the people of NSW, with 43 community reserves forming 96% of its footprint.

In its winning submission, it noted it had increased the size of its reservation team in Newcastle to support the local economy and enhanced the availability of reservations staff for bookings within NSW.

Other measures included:

  • Contributing significantly to local events, including as a major sponsor of Surfest;
  • Offering hybrid working arrangements for staff; and
  • Developing cultural safety training and offering training to boost mental health/resilience

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