Murray Bridge university student, Monarto Safari Park strike gold at SA Tourism Awards
Skyla Schmid and the Murraylands have dominated at the 2022 South Australian industry awards.
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A Murray Bridge student has been named South Australia’s tourism student of the year at the 2022 SA Tourism Awards.
Skyla Schmid is in her second year of a Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Event Management) at the University of South Australia.
Although only a student, she has already had considerable exposure to the industry.
Not only has she travelled to Sydney to work at the Sydney Film Festival, she has volunteered at the Adelaide Fringe, Feast Festival and OzAsia, and is currently interning at the South Australian Tourism Commission.
Even so, Ms Schmid said she was not expecting to win the award.
“I was so shocked, but it was exciting … I think I looked shocked for the rest of the night,” she said.
“The support I’ve received from family, friends and colleagues has been great.
“My lecturer encouraged me to apply for the award back in May, then by the time I was told I was nominated, I had already worked at Illuminate and Sydney Film Festival, so there were more things I could add to my application.”
Ms Schmid said she decided to study tourism when she was looking through university brochures in year 12.
“After high school, I took a gap year, because I wasn’t sure if it was the degree for me,” she said.
“But by the end of the year I was still interested in tourism and knew it was something I wanted to do.”
As for her career, Ms Schmid said she was keeping her options open, but said her local area had untapped potential.
“I would be interested in doing anything tourism-related, but one day I would love to manage my own music festival,” she said.
“Locally, I think there needs to be more rural tourism.
“Murray Bridge does gets a bad rap in the media, so I think bringing good things to the town that are going to attract people will show them what the region is really like.
“I’d also like to work at Monarto Safari Park because it’s just down the road and they’re doing a lot of exciting things.”
The Tourism Industry Council of SA was also very fond of Monarto Safari Park, awarding it first place in three separate categories.
The park won a voter’s choice award for experiences and services, a tourist attraction award, and for excellence in accessible tourism.
Meanwhile, Zadow’s Landing-based Juggle House Experiences and its owner, Kelly Kuhn, came out on top in the tour and transport operators category.
The company has since been selected to represent the state in the tour and transport category in Sydney in March 2023.
The Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region came second in the tourism marketing and campaigns category.
The Tourism Industry Council SA hosted the SA Tourism Awards at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Friday, November 3.