The Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro was recognized with a Brogla Award this weekend by the Northern Territory's Tourism Minister, Malarndirri McCarthy.
"The winners of the Brolga Awards, now in their 25th year, are truly worthy of this year's theme of Celebrating Tourism Excellence," said McCarthy, who congratulated all winners saying that the high standards they had attained were a credit to the [tourism] industry.
The event's promoter, Rapid Ascent, won its Brolga Award in the "Festivals and Events" category for its five-day Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro stage race, which attracts mountain bike riders both elite and recreational to travel to Alice Springs for a seven-stage, five-day race along the town's singletrack.
In winning the Brolga, Rapid Ascent's event was judged to be the Territory's best hallmark festival or event, one that had "created substantial economic impact, attracted visitors from interstate and/or overseas, generated national or international media profile, and had positively promoted the destination".
"We are honoured to be awarded a Brolga and pleased that adventure events - ours and others in general - are starting to receive recognition for the important and growing role they play in generating tourism and exposure for destinations such as the Northern Territory and Alice Springs" said Rapid Ascent Event Manager Sam Maffett.
"We're strong believers that not only do adventure events like a mountain bike enduro lure visitors from interstate and overseas, but it also showcases the iconic landscapes to national and international audiences. That then raises the profile of the destination in general even among audiences that may not be into the particular adventure activity."
The Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro in its current form has been run in Alice Springs for four years, attracting 250 riders annually. Stages range from a 45-second hill sprint in the middle of town to a 77km epic stage through the majestic MacDonnell Ranges that surround the township.
The Brolga Awards are open to tourism operators, industry suppliers and outstanding individuals. There are 26 business categories and three individual categories reflecting the broad range of tourism products throughout the NT and the outstanding individuals who promote and support the industry.
Business category winners of the 2011 Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards automatically become finalists in the 2011 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
In 2012, the Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro will happen from May 14 to 18.
For more information on the event, visit www.icme.com.au.