Fraser Is. tour company commended
IT MAY not have been the top spot but Fraser Explorer Tours was highly commended at the 2009 Queensland Tourism Awards presented on the Gold Coast overnight.
The tour company, part of Kingfisher Bay Resort Group, was named a finalist in the major tour and/or transport operator’s category.
Pipping it at the post was Passions of Paradise in Cairns, which grabbed a second award for adventure tourism. Passions of Paradise also won the adventure tourism category in 2008 and 2007; and in 2005 and 2006 it won best tour and transport operator.
It was the first time Fraser Explorer Tours had entered the awards. Previously it has been lumped under the Kingfisher umbrella which has taken out numerous eco-friendly accolades.
Before the gala night Kingfisher Bay Resort Group general manager of tours and marine David Hay said the awards was about reviewing services and focusing on improving operations. Winning was just a bonus.
“It might sound corny but it really is about recognition of the region,” he said. There were 161 businesses vying for top tourism honours across the state this year; five from the Fraser Coast. The remaining four, which included Peppers Pier Resort, Aussie Trax 4x4 Rentals, Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism and Fraser Coast Regional Council, did not make the shortlist.
Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor said in a release that the awards were all about rewarding excellence in quality and service delivery. He also acknowledged the challenging year Queensland’s tourism industry had experienced.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said the 13-member judging panel was impressed by this year’s entrants’ high degree of professionalism and business acumen.
“Competition was as strong as ever this year and the incredible turn-out at this year’s awards ceremony is a great indication of our industry’s passion for and confidence in tourism in Queensland,” Mr Gschwind said.
Queensland Tourism Award winners will go to the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards on February 26 in Hobart.