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Monday, October 27, 2014

'No Budget, No Problem'

Anna Del Rio has won the Australia Regional Tourism Network (ARTN) Young Tourism Professional 2014 Award. The 28 year old from Coorong, South Australia, received the award at the closing gala dinner at the ARTN Convention in Port Stephens 23 October.

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Anna Del Rio, ARTN Young Tourism Professional Winner and Peter Cahalan, ARTN board member

The award was presented to Anna by ARTN Chairman David Sheldon and Director Carolyn Childs, who told the audience that the judges had been "wowed by Anna's can-do attitude in building tourism from the ground up in her region by engaging the broader community".

Said Childs: "So many managers sit back and bemoan a lack of budget. But it seemed to spur Anna to greater efforts demonstrating the true spirit of local and regional tourism in Australia."

Childs said that the judges had found it difficult to pick a winner in an outstanding field of finalists. Said Childs: "These five amazing young people are all winners – and so is tourism with them on our side. is proud to align our brand with these future leaders of our industry."

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(LtoR) Carolyn Childs,; Anthea Hammon, Scenic World,NSW; Natassia Wheeler, The Whitsundays, Queensland; Victoria James,
Margaret River WA; Timothy John Witherow, Lindenwarrah, Milawa, Victoria;winner Anna Del Rio, Coorong, SA; and ARTN Chair David Sheldon

A spirit of co-operation was evident as the five young finalists – Victoria James from WA, Anthea Hammon from NSW, Tash Wheeler from Queensland, Tim Witherow from Victoria and Anna Del Rio – all joined in a spontaneous group hug as the results were announced.

A surprised Anna said: "I feel very proud. I never imagined that I would be recognised in this industry for doing something that I love. I'm very proud of the Coorong too!"

Anna added: "A big thanks to and ARTN who made this happen and for being advocates for tourism development and attracting young professionals to this industry, which is what Australia needs."

Anna said that she was looking forward to using the momentum from the awards to increase the tourism potential of the Coorong District Council. She said that she would continue to work with the community and businesses to achieve sustainability and attract increased visitation to the region through a range of new initiatives.

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