Dave’s named as Best Tour Operator in NSW

Beer is a conversation with Dave Phillips and Liam Pereira

Sydney Beer Week brains trust Dave Phillips, Liam Pereira and Shonna Mulley

Dave’s Travel & Events Group last night took out Gold in the Tour and Transport Operators category at the NSW Tourism Awards 2017.

Recognising excellence across a broad spectrum including Tourist attractions, Ecotourism, Festivals and Events, Destination Marketing and Accommodation, the annual awards are an important platform for showcasing and recognising the industry’s commitment to delivering high quality NSW products and experiences.

Dave’s took out the award for its Sydney Brewery Tours and Pub Walks. Originally started as Dave’s Brewery Tours in 2013, Dave’s has grown into Australia’s leading beer focused travel & events agency with a wide range of tours and professional event services, including recently taking over and managing Sydney Beer Week.

“We’re all about showcasing beer and producers, and with our brewery tours and pub walks we have found a great way to get people engaged with our past, present and future through beer” says Dave Phillips.“I am a massive believer in beer tourism and its potential here in Australia, and to be named NSW’s best tour operator for me is confirmation that beer tourism is alive and well. Earlier this year I travelled to the United States to attend the first ever beer tourism conference and I am one of the founders of the International Beer Tourism Operators Alliance, which has definitely helped us win this award”.

Generating over 272,000 jobs and $34.9 Billion in consumption, tourism is a vital sector of the NSW economy. Nationally, the visitor economy is taking over from the resource boom, so tourism ventures like Dave’s play a key role in driving visitation and creating employment.

“We went from a team of 1 four years ago to 15 of us today, and that is something we are extremely proud of” said Gregg Peek, Co-Owner of Dave’s Pub Walks. “Dave originally approached me when I was running pub walks in the Rocks and suggested we join and convinced me of the potential in beer and producer tourism. My thing is history, I love telling stories over a beer and I love people learning about our past, being part of the group has certainly helped us grow our business and get deeper within the local beer community”.

Preparing for the award was a reward in itself says Phillips “Our team worked hard on it and I took myself out of the business for nearly a month to finalise the submission. But the effort to look at ourselves and our business was a great experience. It was good to spend some time thinking about what we have achieved and what we still have left to do. Having it validated through audits and assessment and now the award is great for our whole team. I’m really proud of them all right now”.

The award caps off a big year for Dave’s, which saw them launch in the Hunter Region along with taking on Sydney Beer Week. “We have only just got over Beer Week, and now we’re into our peak season for tours. It sort of doesn’t stop at Dave’s, which is what I love” said Jamie Carlyon, Co- Owner of Dave’s Brewery Tours (Sydney). “This award feels like four years of hard work, but we’re only just getting started”.

Expansion has been a hallmark of the Dave’s Travel & Events Group since Dave Phillips started the business, and he has more planned in 2018. “Yep, we have grown, but we do so as it makes sense, like our events business taking on a festival, or expanding our tours into regional areas. We use our skills, experience and resources as a platform for growth and only take on opportunities that align” said Phillips.

“We have some ideas for next year which we are pretty excited about, but of course we still have Christmas to get through, which for both the travel and events part of our group is always a busy time. I and the team have a passion for showcasing producers and we want to play our part in getting more people aware and connected to the communities we live and work in. We are finding our niche and I am certain in 2018 and beyond we will be doing even more to contribute to both the beer and tourism industries, and having some fun along the way”.

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