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Whitsundays’ tourism operators shine at awards

October 5, 2017 Accolades No Comments Email Email

A total of 41 businesses have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the local tourism industry at this year’s Reef Gateway Hotel Whitsunday Tourism Awards.

More than 340 people attended the Gala Dinner on Hamilton Island last night [Saturday, September 30] to their peers’ achievements and celebrate the industry’s successes.

While the champagne flowed, so did a few tears, as the tourism industry came together in an emotional night following a challenging year.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner paid tribute to all the businesses and individuals recognised at the awards and also all the local operators and their invaluable teams who work tirelessly to ensure the Whitsundays remains a global “must-see” destination.

“It is these businesses and individuals that keep the wheels of the Whitsundays’ tourism industry turning, day after day, week after week,” Mr Turner said.

“They should all be congratulated for their contribution to the local tourism industry. To stand out amongst this very special crowd, through winning an award, is even more impressive and it is fitting that we come together as an industry to celebrate this.

“We all know it has been a particularly challenging year in the Whitsundays, so it was especially gratifying to see so many people attend the gala awards event in a show of strength and solidarity for our industry.”

A range of different businesses were showcased at the tourism awards, which recognise operators and individuals who strive every day to perform at their absolute best.

The awards submission process also provides Whitsunday operators with an opportunity to review their business goals and achievements and establishes benchmarks for businesses new to the industry.

Guests at the Gala Dinner enjoyed a three-course meal, drinks all night and lively entertainment with the Potbelleez, who really “turned it up” for the evening. Courtesy buses and ferry transfers were provided compliments of Whitsunday Transit and Cruise Whitsundays.

Event platinum sponsors were naming rights sponsor The Reef Gateway Hotel, as well as Tigerair Australia, Paradise Outdoor Advertising, Cruise Whitsundays and Whitsunday Transit.

Whitsunday Tourism Awards 2017 – Winners


Major Tourist Attraction

GOLD – Abell Point Marina

Tourist Attraction GOLD – Whitsunday Regional council – Horseshoe Bay beach

Festivals and Events

GOLD –  Spring Break Whitsundays

SILVER – Whitsunday Reef Festival

BRONZE – Whitsunday Regional Council

FINALIST – Airlie Beach Festival of Music

FINALIST – 2016 Bowen Offshore Superboats

Specialised Tourism Service GOLD – Lure, Abell Point Marina

SILVER – 8 Seconds – Where We Live

BRONZE – Airlie Day Spa Whitsundays

Visitor Information Service GOLD – Bowen Visitor Information  Centre
Business Events Venue GOLD – Coral Sea Resort
Major Tour & Transport Operator GOLD – Ocean Rafting

SILVER – Air Whitsunday Seaplanes

Tour & Transport Operator GOLD – Redcat Adventures

SILVER – Whitsunday Jetski Tours

BRONZE – Providence Sailing

Adventure Tourism

Destination Marketing

Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services

GOLD – Redcat Adventures

SILVER – Whitsunday Jetski Tours

BRONZE – Ocean Rafting

GOLD – Bowen ‘Top of the Whitsundays’ App

GOLD – Fish D’Vine

SILVER – Walter’s Lounge

Caravan and Holiday Parks

Backpacker Accommodation

GOLD – BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort (Hall of Fame)

SILVER – BIG4 Bowen Coral Coast Beachfront Holiday Park

GOLD – Magnums Backpackers (Hall of Fame)

SILVER – Nomads Airlie Beach

Unique Accommodation GOLD – Whitsunday Escape

SILVER – Cumberland Charter Yachts

Self-Contained Accommodation GOLD – Pinnacles Resort
Deluxe Accommodation GOLD – Mirage Whitsundays

SILVER – Whitsunday Bliss

Excellence in Sustainable Tourism

New Tourism Business

GOLD – Whitsunday Segway Tours

GOLD – Island Jet Boating

SILVER – Airlie Beach Skydivers

BRONZE – Matador Whitsundays

FINALIST – Whitsunday Bullet

FINALIST – Heart Hotel & Gallery Whitsundays

Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Group

Young Achiever Award

Bowen Tourism & Business – Christin Short and Jenn Honnery

Rob Mohr, Walter’s Lounge

The Bob Porter Award for Outstanding

Contribution by an Individual

Colin Crossley, Whitsunday Transit


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