Tour operator in Hall of Fame for tourism awards
THEY have the Whitsunday trifecta in the bag and are now looking to take on the state.
Whitsunday Escape has been nominated for the Queensland Tourism Awards, which will be held next month.
The skipper-yourself tour operator's win comes off the back of their success at the Whitsunday Tourism Awards, after having two finalists, one winner and one Hall of Fame achievement.
To be added to the Hall of Fame, the tourism provider must win three consecutive awards. Whitsunday Escape managing director Trevor Rees has attributed the business's wins to having quality staff.
He admitted the team was more nervous leading up to this year's ceremony - as it would make the award three in a row.
"Having entered the Whitsunday Tourism Awards every year for almost a decade, being recognised as an industry leader for the third year in a row, and the resulting entry into the Hall of Fame, is an honour we are very proud of," he said. Mr Rees agreed good customer service was essential in successful tourism.
"I think you get back what you give. If you make the time for training and give the right support then you will get it back.
"Keeping the morale up over time is important. You get that back ten times over."
Mr Rees believed his current Australian tourist market would remain strong.
"There is a lot more optimism in the Whitsundays. It seems Australians are keen to holiday at home. I think that's due to the exchange rates and issues overseas," he said.
"We thrive on improving the business, improving the tourism experience for our guests, and improving the work-life balance for our staff. We feel that the combination of these elements is what shines through and continues to bring home the awards."
- Major Festivals and Events: Airlie Beach Race Week
- Festivals and Events: Tourism Bowen (Heli Taxi Superboat Championships)
- The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism: True Blue Sailing
- Specialised Tourism Services: Airlie Day Spa
- Visitor Information Services: Tourism Bowen (Bowen Information Centre)
- Major Tour and/or Transport: Cruise Whitsundays
- Tour and/or Transport Operator: Ocean Rafting
- Adventure Tourism: Whitsunday Jet Ski Tours
- Destination Marketing: Tourism Bowen - MangoGate
- Local Government Award for Tourism: Whitsunday Coast Airport
- Health and Well Being Tourism: Airlie Day Spa
- Excellence in Food Tourism: Party Cakes Whitsunday
- Non-Tourism Business: Brooke Miles Photography
- Smile Whitsundays Customer Service Award: Whitsunday Jet Ski Tours
- Young Achiever Award: Vari Kelly (Party Cakes Whitsunday)
- Apprentice/Trainee of the Year: Wylie Jones (Party Cakes Whitsunday)
- Tourism Restaurants and Catering: Clipper Restaurant (Coral Sea Resort)
- Employee of the Year: Hannah Denman (Airlie Day Spa)
- Employer of the Year: True Blue Sailing
- Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group: The Board Members of Tourism Bowen
- Outstanding Contribution by an Individual: Al Grundy
- Business of the Year: Whitsunday Jet Ski Tours