North West tourism identity praised Thu 25 October 2012 Scott Bacon Minister for Tourism PLEASE NOTE - Strictly embargoed to 9.00 pm Thursday 25 October 2012 North West tourism identity Ian Waller has been recognised for his contribution to the sector, receiving Tasmania's Hall of Fame Award at this week's Australian Regional Tourism Network convention in Launceston this week. Mr Waller is a board member of the Regional Tourism Network and Tourism Development Manager for the Cradle Coast Authority. He was presented with the Award at the Regional Tourism Network's Gala Dinner at the World Heritage-listed convict site, Brickendon, this evening. The Minister for Tourism, Scott Bacon, said that in his time in Tasmania to date Mr Waller has made a strong contribution to the tourism industry in the North West. "Ian's passion for tourism is well known throughout Tasmania, and he has demonstrated he's a strong advocate for operators in the North West," he said. "There is no doubt that his professionalism and his decades of regional tourism knowledge and experience in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania is eagerly sought-after both in and outside the state, so it is fitting that he has been recognised in this way at the 2012 Australian Regional Tourism Convention." Speaking at the Gala Dinner, Mr Bacon also welcomed those who travelled to Tasmania for the convention. "I hope that everyone visiting our state for this convention has gained a good glimpse of Tasmania's many tourism experiences and attractions, and will return to more fully explore the depth and diversity of our multi-award winning destination," he said. Mr Bacon said business events and conferences continued to play an important role in supporting Tasmania's tourism and hospitality sectors. "The Australian Regional Tourism Network Convention is one of the many events being hosted around the state this month, injecting a total of more than $15 million into the local economy," he said. "Business events being held around Tasmania this month have seen more than 5,000 delegates heading to the state, and the positive word of mouth from conference delegates can not only help secure return business but also encourage others to experience what we have on offer."