Kingfisher Bay Resort Group turned the 2018 Business and Tourism Awards into a “royal occasion” for the company clinching a hat-trick of awards including the title of Best Fraser Coast Business on Friday night.
Fresh from hosting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the island, company representatives were also presented with awards for marketing and resort and deluxe accommodation in front of about 330 people at a gala presentation dinner at the Beach House Hotel in Hervey Bay.
Setting the standard for ecotourism when it was established in 1992, the business has expanded to include Eurong Beach Resort, Fraser Explorer Tours, Cool Dingo Tours and Fraser Island Ferries.
Earlier this year, publicly listed tourism and transport company SeaLink Travel Group, paid $43 million for the venture.
Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons congratulated the team at Kingfisher and said he expected the group’s winning form to continue after Prince Harry and Meghan’s visit to the island two weeks ago.
“We expect the global publicity generated by the royal visit will translate into more tourists visiting Fraser Island which will benefit the region as a whole,” he said.
“Fraser Island is the stand-out tourist asset in the region and the Kingfisher Bay Resort Group does a powerful job in both the domestic and international markets showcasing our amazing natural attractions.”
Mr Simons said almost 100 submissions were received in the awards and 24 businesses or individuals were recognised.
Maryborough’s John Meyers, who founded the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum with his wife Else in 2005, was presented the John Craig-Gardiner Memorial Award.
The couple established the museum in honour of their son and daughter who were killed in a car crash in 1982 and plan to bequeath the amazing public asset to the people of Maryborough.
Other major winners include AATEC Office Technology which was inducted into the Hall of Fame after winning the retail category three years in a row, Bay Osteopathy and Injury Rehabilitation which collected the Best Fraser Coast New Business award and Serenity Skin Spa business owner Abby Blanke who was named Young Achiever of the Year.
Mr Simons said the judging panel of the three Chambers of Commerce presidents, Sandra Holebrook (Hervey Bay), Lance Stone (Maryborough) and Darryl Stewart (Tiaro), along with USC senior lecturer in management Lisa Daniel, FCTE board chairman Greig Bolderrow and FCTE board member Jill Perry had done a mighty job of reading hundreds of pages of submission statements and selecting the finalists and winners.
A special souvenir liftout, including photographs and more details about all of the winners, will be published in the Fraser Coast Chronicle on Wednesday, November 7.