The 55th Southern Highlands Tulip Time Festival has been awarded the title of Tulip Festival of the Year by the World Tulip Summit Society (WTSS) at their inaugural World Tulip Awards.
The World Tulip Summit Society is made up of a committee of representatives from 17 countries of tulip lovers (tulipists) committed to promoting the tulip as a symbol of world friendship.
World Tulip Awards are presented to organisations and individuals who have excelled in the promotion and celebration of the tulip flower across a range of criteria including the quality of the tulip experience, level of innovation, contribution to the destination’s sustainability and amount of public and media recognition.
Chair of the World Tulip Summit Society Michael Gauthier said in a statement that the awards celebrated the special history of the tulip.
“Tulips are part of the culture of many countries and tulip attractions, events and festivals are very much part of a destination’s tourism appeal,” he said. “Visiting tulip destinations provides opportunities to share our cultures and establish friendships”.
Chair of the Tulip Time Working Group, Councillor Garry Turland said the success of the festival was a testament to the hard work put in by Council staff and volunteers.
“To have our Shire’s annual Tulip Time celebrations beat out a field of high profile events from festivals in Australia, Asia, the United States and Europe – including Keukenhof in the Netherlands – is an amazing coup for the Southern Highlands,” he said.
“I’d like to thank the entire Destination Southern Highlands team, led by Steve Rosa and Tulip Time Event Coordinator Debbie Pearce, Council’s Parks and Gardens team, and all of the members of the Tulip Time Working Group who helped organise this year’s record-breaking event,” he said.
“Of course the event would not have been the success it was without the wonderful support from our local residents and the visitors who came from far and wide to support this year’s festival.” Councillor Turland added.
A formal presentation with the World Tulip Summit Society’s Australian representative is expected to take place in the coming weeks.