NATIONAL and international recognition has rocketed the Whitsundays into the news, with a number of awards won by local accommodation and tourism experience operators recently.
The Australian Tourism Awards, on Friday, March 17, in Sydney, saw long-term Whitsunday businesses Ocean Rafting, Magnums Accommodation Airlie Beach and BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday all nominated, following their Gold wins at the Queensland Tourism Awards, in November last year.
And the winners are: BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort with Gold, in the Caravan and Holiday Parks category, Ocean Rafting with Silver, in the Adventure Tourism category, and Magnums Accommodation Airlie Beach with Bronze in the 3 to 3.5 Star Accommodation category.
Internationally, Club Wyndham Airlie Beach was awarded Best Interior Design for its $3m presidential apartments refurbishment project, at the GNEX Vacation Industry Awards, earlier this month.
The three-level apartments have undergone a significant refurbishment with extended roof lines and extended facilities including outdoor bathrooms.
At the northern end of the Whitsundays, Queens Beach Tourist Village, in Bowen, was awarded Best Grey Nomad Large Caravan Park, at February’s Grey Nomad Awards.
The win accentuates the love Bowen has for the Grey Nomads and the large part they play in Bowen’s tourism year.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Rick Hamilton is thrilled with the win, stating it’s no surprise to see exceptional Whitsundays experiences acknowledged, after a year of record expenditure and visitation.
“Everything about the Whitsundays is outstanding,” he said.
“Our icons, our people and our experiences, from Airlie Beach and the islands, Bowen in the north, to Collinsville and Proserpine in the west. These awards are a testament to just how outstanding our region really is.
“Congratulations to all the winners, what an incredible achievement for your businesses but also for us all in the Whitsundays.”
Tourism Whitsundays chair Julie Telford said the tourism industry in the Whitsundays offered exceptional experiences to a wide range of travellers, and these awards really highlighted this.
“Visitors to The Whitsundays can be young backpackers on their first East Coast road trip, seasonal Grey Nomads on their 10th visit, or families seeking to bond together for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure,” she said.
“The Whitsundays is an incredible destination that caters to all demographics. Our region should be very proud of how passionate and hardworking our high-quality operators are.
“Everyone working in customer-facing jobs has exceptional service that shines through to our visitors to the Whitsundays.
A huge congratulations to the winners, and thank you to everyone who is sharing their passion for The Whitsundays with our visitors,” said Ms Telford