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Travel tech player, Klook, today announced the winners of its Pandemic Pivot Awards.
With a $1,000 marketing package up for grabs, five local experience providers were recognised for their success stories pivoting their business from a traditional international tourist focused product to new and more diverse offering for domestic tourists and locals to enjoy.
Winning businesses included:
·          Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, which pivoted from a Blue Mountains tourist product to launch a tour to an undiscovered wine region, the Megalong Valley Wine Trail Experience
·          Captain Cook Cruises, which pivoted from a scenic harbour cruise for inbound tourists, introduced a new product, the Harbour Bar Cruise, Sydney’s first hop-on, hop-off floating bar, which saw a refurbishment of the boat targeting young Sydneysiders.
·          Sydney Harbour Kayaks, for introducing a night time sea kayak experience for the Sydney Solstice Festival, exploring areas of the water not previously visited by kayak tours. It was the first time kayakers could explore Darling Harbour.
·          Symbio Wildlife Park complimented the NSW Government’s Dine & Discover Scheme by encouraging NSW residents to pay Discover vouchers forward to kids in need as a random act of kindness. By redeeming a Discover voucher with Symbio Wildlife Park, one of five children’s charities will receive 2 x entry tickets.
·          Moonshadow-TQC Cruises, pivoted from whale/dolphin focused cruises to introduce a new evening product, Cruising Eats’n’Beats, serving local beers, Hunter Valley wines, authentic street food platters and supporting local musicians.
Of the Awards, Henry Hooper, General Manager Australia & NZ at Klook, commented “Our platform is only as strong as the member businesses that we partner with and whilst Australia’s borders have been closed there’s been a tremendous effort by so many locally owned and run tour and attraction companies to completely pivot their business, as so many of us have within the travel industry. 
At Klook, we want to show these experience providers our appreciation, share their success stories and further promote their business as local and regional tourism builds up following current closures. Klook too has changed its focus to domestic tourism having successfully partnered with Destination NSW so locals can redeem their Dine and Discover vouchers for bookings made through the site.”
Jason Cronshaw, Managing Director of the award-winning Blue Mountains Explorer Bus, said “Pre-pandemic our primary market was international and interstate tourists so finding a product that would resonate with our local community and wider Sydney was a creative challenge. Being able to showcase a wine region that even locals weren’t aware of has opened up a great opportunity for us.
Partnering with Klook enabled us to spread the word much faster about our new tour and tapping into their technology, particularly in the early days of NSW’s Dine & Discover, helped make our Megalong Valley Wine Tour viable.” 
Kate Lovelance, owner of Sydney Harbour Kayaks added, “The Sydney Solstice Tours were a phenomenal success with all 20 tours selling out, thanks to intrastate visitors and the local community who wouldn’t have traditionally considered taking a tour within their own state.”
“Despite the pandemic, growth for rentals and tours (when permitted) has been steady for us, with our local market making up for losses due to international and state border closures.”