Cittadella Visitors’ Centre wins prestigious award in America
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Gozo’s Cittadella Visitors’ Centre has received a prestigious TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement, during a ceremony in the USA.
The themed entertainment industry’s top honour – a TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement – was presented in front of an audience of nearly a thousand themed entertainment professionals at the Disneyland® Hotel in California.
This is the third international award for the Cittadella Visitors’ Centre. In July last year it was named as Best Visitor Attraction Project at the annual InstallAwards 2017. This was followed in September with the award for Entertainment Venue of The Year, at the AV Awards ceremony in London’s West End.
This latest award was accepted on behalf of the Cittadella Visitors’ Centre by special guest, H.E. Mr Pierre Clive Agius, Ambassador of the Republic of Malta to the United States of America, along with Ross Magri, Managing Director of Sarner International.
H.E. Mr Pierre Clive Agius said that he was delighted to be able to accept the award on behalf of the Ministry for Gozo, commenting, “we are all very proud of the Cittadella and I want to personally congratulate everyone involved, not only for receiving this award but for the beautiful work you all did.”
“The Visitors’ Centre brings the history of the island to life and has considerably helped increase tourism to Gozo. It’s a real honour to be here to accept this award which goes to each and every person that was involved in the project,” he added.
The Minister for Gozo Dr Justyne Caruana welcomed the announcement of this prestigious award honouring the Cittadella Visitors’ Centre.
The first year has seen in excess of 240,000 visitors to the attraction, situated in the heart of the island.
The award, which recognises outstanding achievements in the creation of compelling places and experiences, specifically honours the owners and operators while at the same time acknowledges the contributions of individuals and companies who invent, create and produce the attractions and events.
Other Thea-honoured attractions this year included ‘Pandora – The World of Avatar’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Jameson Distillery Bow St. in Dublin and the DreamWorks Animation Zone at MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, so the Cittadella Visitors’ Centre was in extremely good company, Sarner International said.
The team responsible for the design and creation of the Cittadella Visitors’ Centre project, Sarner International, presented a case study on the project to some 300 delegates at the TEA Summit.
TEA founded the Thea Awards in 1994 to help bring recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry, and the Thea Award has become internationally recognised as a symbol of excellence.
Ross Magri, Sarner’s Managing Director, thanked the Themed Entertainment Association for inviting them, as well as H.E. Mr Pierre Clive Agius for travelling from Washington to accept the award on behalf of the Ministry for Gozo.
Gozo’s rich history and natural beauty, woven in with local customs and traditions, were key factors in creating this award winning tourist attraction. Sarner worked with the Ministry for Gozo to create the visitor centre within the walled ‘Cittadella,’ utilising the architecture of the reservoir – the high ceilings and vast spaces.
Sarner said that the result is a visually striking walk through exhibition that draws the visitor deeper and deeper within the building whilst highlighting the characteristics of this unique site. Sarner used drama to add to the tension by building on the interactivity and technology within each of the nine multi-language zones. And the visitors’ culminate their journey in the dramatic 360° Cittadella Show set within an impressive theatrical space created by the reservoir.
“This ingenious combination of history and technology, cleverly balancing the old with the new, made a material impression on the TEA Thea Awards Committee and helped lead to Cittadella Visitors’ Centre being named for this prestigious award.”
The Thea Committee stated that “what makes this project so special is the combination of traditional exhibition techniques, exceptional storytelling and the 360° show finale, within the unique setting.”