TWO Whitsundays tourism operators have been named in the top one per cent of tourism businesses around the world.
Ocean Rafting and Whitsunday Jetski Tours were recognised as 2020 Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best award winners for the Top 10 Experiences in Australia, ranking sixth and seventh respectively.
As the only Whitsunday operators, and among only four in Queensland, this accolade means they’re not only in the top 10 experiences in Australia, based on a full year of exceptional Tripadvisor reviews, they also ranked in the top one per cent of tourism businesses worldwide as travellers’ ultimate favourites.
Both businesses are locally owned and family operated, with Ocean Rafting owned by Peter and Jan Claxton and Whitsunday Jetski Tours owned by Steve and Toni Ward.
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This year’s recognition builds on last year’s success in the same category, when Whitsunday Jetski Tours was recognised as the number one tourism experience in Australia and Ocean Rafting landed in the seventh position.
Ocean Rafting has been owned by Peter and Jan since 2001 and Whitsunday Jetski Tours celebrated 10 years of operation in August.
Both companies have won multiple tourism awards on a local, state and national level, and over the years have continued to sustainably operate and grow through both good and tough times.
Whitsunday Jetski Tours owner Toni Ward said being acknowledged again in the top 10 experiences in Australia and top one per cent in the world was an incredible achievement for the family-run business.
“We have actually sat at the number one position for tours in the Whitsundays on Tripadvisor for most of the past seven years, so the feedback we have received from guests has been amazing,” she said.
“The whole team put their heart and soul into the business, so that we always exceed guests’ expectations and provide exceptional service, along with a quality product, which we will never compromise on.
“Given the current circumstances, we are also looking to enhance and diversify the business over the next few months with some exciting new developments in the pipeline.”
Ocean Rafting owner Jan Claxton said after operating in the Whitsundays for years, the family business involved three generations and had been streamlined to offer an adventurous experience to stunning places in the region.
“There has been challenging periods over the past several years, and particularly 2020, but we have successfully established a business which will continue to operate through these times and one that will always set a standard for quality and service,” she said.
“With eight vessels now, we have the capacity to carry 206 people daily, and the reviews we receive reflect our commitment to creating everlasting memories by offering a lifetime adventure for each and every guest.
“If that happens, we’ve done our job.”
Tripadvisor chief commercial officer Kanika Soni said 2020 Travellers’ Choice Awards winners should be proud.
“Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners’ achievements,” she said.
“Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality.
“Not only are these winners well deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travellers as the world begins to venture out again.”
To view the list of winners click here.