POPULAR Hunter destinations Broke-Fordwich and Wollombi will battle it out for the title of 'top tourism town' in a new state-wide awards program.
The towns are among four Hunter locations in the running for honours in the inaugural NSW Top Tourism Town Awards run by the NSW Tourism Industry Council.
Broke-Fordwich and Wollombi have made the finals in the less than 5000 residents category, while Newcastle and Pokolbin are vying for the over 5000 residents award.
At the other end of the Valley over the range in the Liverpool Plains, the small thriving community of Willow Tree has also been named a finalist for the small towns category.
And, instead of being decided by a panel of judges, the people have the say with the winners to be decided by popular vote.
Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes urged everyone to have their say and help get the Hunter across the line.
"It is great to see four Hunter destinations represented among the 42 finalists," he said.
"After what has been the most challenging year in memory for businesses in the visitor economy, this success is a testament to the resilience and innovative spirit of these towns.
"These awards are all about community collaboration -- groups such as local chambers of commerce, tourism associations, councils and visitor information centres have come together to showcase their towns as tourism destinations worthy of celebrating.
"The process was highly competitive, with towns having to provide inspiring editorial, images and video content accompanied by a compelling three-to-four-day visitor itinerary in order to become a Top Tourism Townfinalist."
Liverpool Plains Shire Council mayor Doug Hawkins also encouraged not only Willow Tree residents to vote for Willow Tree, but everyone in the Shire, because winning would have "beneficial tourism and economic flow ons for the whole region".
Voting closes on Friday, May 14 2021.
Winners will be announced on Thursday, May 27 by Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres at the Local Government NSW Destination and Visitor Economy Conference.
To cast your vote and check out the whole list of finalists visit: www.businessnsw.com/top-tourism-town-awards