November 17th 2008
Bungalow Bay wins three in a row
For the third year in a row Bungalow Bay Koala Village at Horseshoe Bay has taken out the Backpacker Accommodation Award at the Queensland Tourism Awards held over the weekend in Brisbane and announced by Tourism Minister Desley Boyle.
"It's very exciting and we wont need to write any submissions any more" said Bungalow Bay's, Brett Flemming. The Budget accommodation provider was also inducted into the Queensland Tourism Hall of Fame.
"This is a very deserving honour for Brett and Janelle Flemming, whose commitment to preserving the local environment while providing a very special visitor experience also saw them named as Australia's best backpacker resort in February," said the Desley Boyle.
Magnetic Times asked Brett Flemming what he thought was the key to Bungalow Bay's success. "Keeping it at back to basics," he said, "With hospitality increasing at the ground level with our staff customer focus."
He was also proud to refer to the latest Lonely Planet Australia, which, alongside the comment that said, (Bungalow Bay) was, "the best budget style accommodation on Magnetic Island" commented about the "friendly staff", which Brett claims is a comment not often found in the budget traveller's bible.
As well, "Each bungalow is being renovated with a new private deck on each, new reading lights, bar fridges and air-conditioning (in summer)," said Brett.
It seems however that the core of the attraction is the, "unique Australian experience," with the animals which include koalas and crocodiles but Brett also believes that the bungalows themselves offer "something different" and makes the point that, "Many backpackers are basically converted old motels which don't have the same appeal to younger people.
With rapidly changing economic times, Brett is still confident for the future and thinks the times may in fact suit Bungalow Bay with their budget pricing. "We are almost in a lucky position as the Australian market is increasing for us. We are seeing younger Aussie couples (under 30s) booking straight through from Melbourne or Brisbane for a few days. If the flights remain under $150 then we will hold up."
As for the international backpackers Brett said, "Backpackers will continue to come. Its a once-in-a-lifetime trip and long planned for. As long as they have jobs they'll come."
Magnetic Island itself is, of course, also the attraction and it isn't just the Island's physical beauty. Brett observes that Magnetic is a place where the budget traveller doesn't need to spend much money - a welcome relief between the Whitsundays and Cairns.
Eight finalists from the Townsville region were also named for their outstanding achievements. They were: