Tourism and business celebrated in night of nights
FRASER Explorer Tours has been named the Fraser Coast's Best Business for 2014 at the inaugural Business and Tourism Awards.
A total of 20 awards were presented at the glittering awards evening on Friday night at the Beach House Hotel, presented by Fraser Coast Opportunities in recognition of the innovation and excellence of the region's business and tourism operators.
Head judge Mark Olsen from EC3 Global said competition to be named the best business was extremely tight with some outstanding applications from across the region and from many different sectors of the Fraser Coast economy.
"Fraser Island Explorer ticked all the boxes in their category and really showed the depth of their commitment to delivering exceptional customer service, continuously improving and ensuring the precise environmental and cultural values of the island are protected and shared with visitors from around the globe," he said.
Family owned and operated Tiaro-based company, Tomarata Group, was awarded the Primary Industries and Agribusiness Award, the Retailing Award and the overall Chamber Presidents' Award.
The group harvests, packs and markets fresh lychees to all major markets in Australia as well as exporting to Britain, France and Singapore and operates the Lychee Devine Cellar Door and Visitor Centre south of the Maryborough.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Group group general manager David Hay was honoured for his decade-long commitment to promoting and developing the region's tourism industry.
Mr Hay, who was a long-serving board member and former chairman of Tourism Fraser Coast, was presented with the prestigious John Craig- Gardiner Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual.
A two-time winner was Cecile Espigole, whose Eco Queenslander holiday home in Maryborough took out the Hosted and Unique Accommodation Award and the Environmental Tourism Award.
The Young Achiever of the Year Award was presented to Julie Green, general manager of Mantra Hervey Bay.
At 33, Julie is the youngest, female general manager within the Mantra Group's 115 properties.
Fraser Coast Opportunities partnered with the region's four Chambers of Commerce and platinum sponsors the Fraser Coast Chronicle, the Beach House Hotel and Bay City Autos, to present the awards.
An independent panel consisting of a team of industry leaders in their respective fields presided over the judging of all award submissions.
"The awards submissions demonstrate the depth of experience and commitment to quality across the Fraser Coast, from educators to experience creators and innovative providers of quality produce," Mr Olsen said.
2014 Fraser Coast Business and Tourism Awards winners
- Education Provider - Urangan State High School
- Environmental Tourism - Eco Queenslander
- Trade and Manufacturing- Bungalow Homes
- Primary Industries and Agribusiness - Tomarata Orchard/Lychee Divine
- Retailing - Lychee Devine
- Restaurants, Cafes and Hospitality - McNevin's Sail's Restaurant
- Small Business - Pie & Pastry Paradise
- Adventure/Youth Tourism - Flame Lily Adventures
- Marine Tourism - Aquavue Cafe Watersports
- Tour Operator - Fraser Explorer Tours
- Professional Services - Blue Sky Dental
- Caravan and Budget Accommodation - Fraser Coast Top Tourist Park
- Hosted and Unique Accommodation - Eco Queenslander
- Deluxe and Luxury Accommodation - Mantra Hervey Bay
- New Business - FABsolutions: Finance, Accounting, Business
- Innovation - Whitney Mitchell Real Estate
- Young Achiever - Julie Green
- Best Business - Fraser Explorer Tours
- Chamber Presidents' Award - Tomarata Orchard/Lychee Devine
- John Craig-Gardiner Memorial Award - David Hay