Gnowangerup is once again proving its reputation as one of the Great Southern’s rising tourism hotspots, with the town now in the running for a Statewide tourism award. It is a finalist in this year’s GWN7 Top Tourism Town Awards, with winners to be revealed at the WA Tourism Conference Dinner in Perth on June 22. The awards are divided into three categories — top tourism town, small tourism town and tiny tourism town. Gnowangerup is one of three finalists for the new Tiny Tourism Town category, which covers towns with a population of fewer than 1200 people. It will be vying for this year’s title against the historic mining town of Coolgardie in the Goldfields and the Gascoyne town of Denham, which serves as a base for the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. Horsepower Highway project manager Cassandra Beeck made the nomination on behalf of her community and said she was relieved the town was a finalist. “It was a really rigorous process,” she said. “I am glad we have made it to the finals given we had to get a score of more than 75 per cent on the criteria.” If the town claims the prize, it will be the latest in a series of awards the community has received since the Horsepower Highway was completed last year. Gnowangerup won the Community Action and Wellbeing category of last year’s Tidy Towns Awards before receiving three awards at the Australian Street Art Awards earlier this year. Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall encouraged people to vote for their favourite destination before 5pm on May 24. The popular vote and an industry panel of judges will help decide this year’s winners. “The awards give us all the opportunity to reward towns for the way they treat their visitors, so it’s a great way to say thank you to the places we love to visit,” Mr Hall said. “It could be a town you’ve only just discovered but where you felt incredibly welcomed in your time there, or it could be the place you visit year in, year out because you always have a fantastic experience. This is your chance to have your say.” The winner of the Tiny Tourism Town Award will receive $5000 worth of free airtime on GWN7, while people who vote can win a $5000 WA holiday or a $500 voucher to spend at RAC Parks and Resorts. Visit toptourismtown.com.au.