It was a record attendance at the 2017 Whitsunday Tourism Awards at Hamilton Island on 30 September. Over 340 attendees were at the gala dinner with representatives from local tourism operators, regional and state tourism bodies, and local and state government, all gathering together to celebrate the achievements of the tourism industry this year.
The message for the night was that the Whitsundays is ‘batting well above average’ with the quality of tourism product on offer in the region and the number of visitors to the region each year, indicating that the Whitsundays is a ‘must see global destination.’
Fourty-one local businesses were recognised for their contributions to the tourism industry and Abell Point Marina was awarded with the Major Tourism Attraction Award for the second year running.
Accepting the award, Joscelyn O’Keefe, Abell Point Marina’s Marketing & Business Development Manager, spoke of the vision of marina owner Paul Darrouzet to create a world-class destination marina in the Whitsundays.
After winning Marina of the Year 2017 and now Major Tourism Attraction for the Whitsundays, Abell Point is certainly realising that vision.
The marina team was acknowledged on the night, as was the contribution of the first-class tourism operators based at Abell Point. Abell Point’s operators who received awards included – Ocean Rafting, Red Cat Adventures, Island Jet Boating and Cumberland Charter Yachts.
Lure, the marina’s waterfront function venue, also took out gold in the Specialised Tourism Service category. Lure the venue has been operational for just over twelve months. Lure was the first venue on the mainland to host a wedding just six days after Tropical Cyclone Debbie crossed the mainland Whitsunday coast.
After a challenging year for the tourism industry in the Whitsundays, the atmosphere at the gala awards was positive with the overall message being the Whitsundays are ‘back in business.’
Says Ms O’Keefe, “Five months ago twenty percent of our on-water infrastructure was destroyed in the cyclone and five months on we have completely rebuilt, we have been recognised as Australian Marina of the Year and now as a major tourism attraction for the Whitsundays, which is a testament to resilience of the industry in the Whitsundays and our hard-working team.”
Abell Point Marina have also been nominated for the Queensland Tourism Awards, which take place in November.