Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

October 3rd 2006
Magnetic takes out two tourism awards

Janelle and Brett Flemming with the Award Bungalow Bay Koala Village and Tropicana Guided Adventure Company came up trumps this year at the QNI 2006 North Queensland Tourism Awards.

Bungalow Bay took out the Backpacker Accommodation section which is open to accommodation providers primarily catering to backpackers. According to the organisers, "The focus of this award is on facilities and services that enhance the tourism experience."

Tropicana Guided Adventure Company won the Land Tour Operator (Regional) Award which applies to regionally based and operated land tours, both day tours and excursions. Entrants in this category are small-based operations with less than 10 staff.

The Awards were held beside Jupiters Casino with the Port of Townsville as a backdrop where lasers and fireworks brightened the sky.

Bungalow Bay, formerly Geoff's Place, in Horseshoe Bay has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last few years since it was acquired by the Flemming family, owner operators of Billabong Sanctuary south of Townsville, which took out the Eco-Tourism Award on the night.

Explaining why he thought Bungalow Bay was successful, General Manager, Mr Brett Fleming, told, "This year's awards focussed on community involvement, employees and participation in regional tourism involvement. Bungalow Bay Koala Village has involved itself in the community of Magnetic Island with sponsorship of the Wildlife Care Group and securing a federal Grant for replanting the watercourse leading into the wetlands of Horseshoe Bay.

"Our staff dedication has led to a strong focus on customer relations making 'word of mouth' our strongest marketing aspect."

Bungalow Bay's involvement with tourism marketing has led to the creation of Townsville/Magnetic Island backpacking association with membership now reaching 40 local businesses in Townsville and Magnetic Island.

"Bungalow Bay Koala Village would like to thank all operators in Townsville and Magnetic Island who have helped us achieve the award." said Brett Flemming.

Townsville Enterprise Chief Executive Officer, Glenys Schuntner said, "All our winners deserve the praise and the recognition that comes with winning a major award. We wish those moving on to contest the Queensland Tourism Awards the best of luck." she said.

For the record the other winners in the Tourism Awards were:
Major Tourist Attraction -- Strand Townsville
This category is for attractions which are considered a hallmark destination in their own right.

Significant Regional Attraction - Jupiters Townsville Hotel and Casino
This category is open to attractions that significantly contribute to the tourism experience within their region.

Major Festivals & Special Events -- VP60 Living Heroes
This category is open to hallmark festivals or events that create substantial economic impact, attract visitors from outside the region, or generate a national or international media profile. They may be one-off or recurring.

Significant Festivals & Events -- Italian Festival
This category is open to festivals or events that create substantial economic impact within the local community.

Eco Tourism -- Billabong Sanctuary
This category aims to recognise ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that foster environmental and cultural awareness.

Heritage & Cultural Tourism -- Museum of Tropical Qld
This category aims to recognise tourism operations that foster a greater understanding of history, heritage, and culture. Entrants should offer tourists an insight into Australia''s history and heritage and its contemporary culture.

Meetings & Business Tourism -- Quality Southbank Hotel & Convention Centre
This category is open to conference facilities, convention bureaus, professional conference organisers, incentive planners and other meetings industry operators and suppliers who maximise the tourism experience for meetings and business travellers.

Significant Tour & Transport Operator -- Sunsea Cruises
This category is open to tour and transport operators with less than 20 annual full-time equivalent employees. It is not a transport award but does recognise a significant contribution to tourism through the provision of transport services.

Adventure Tourism -- Prodive
This category is open to operators providing adventure tourism experiences that involve active customer participation.

Tourism Restaurant & Catering Service - Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms
This category is open to all restaurants and catering services offering a tourism experience or servicing the tourism industry.

Tourist & Caravan Parks -- Rollingstone Beach Caravan Resort
This category is open to all tourist and caravan parks offering a tourism experience.

Hosted Accommodation -- Cassawong Cottages
This category is open to owner/operator accommodation providers offering a high degree of personal contact with guests, either in the operators'' residence or in self-contained accommodation.

Standard Accommodation -- Noorla Heritage Resort
This category is open to motels, hotels, self-catering, cabins and pub accommodation.
Deluxe Accommodation -- Quality Southbank Hotel & Convention Centre
This category is open to apartments, hotels, motels and self-catering accommodation of a deluxe standard.

New Tourism Development -- Mountain Tunnel Tours
This category recognises excellence in the planning of tourism infrastructure and services with a focus on entrepreneurial vision, harmonious integration with the environment, design and functionality and uniqueness of the service.

Marine Tourist Activities, Day Trips and Excursions (Regional Award) -- Adrenaline Dive
This category applies to regional marine operators with less than 10 staff.

Visitor Enhancement Services -- Reef HQ Volunteers
Applies to all service providers to the tourist industry such as volunteers'' services, local transport, entertainment, hire car services, tourist publications, language interpreters, local guides etc., who can demonstrate how their particular service enhances a visitor''s experience and stay in the region.

Owner-Operator Accommodation (Regional Award) -- Noorla Heritage Resort
This category is designed to recognize the significant contribution to the tourism industry by small accommodation properties that run as an owner-operator enterprise with no more than 5 full time employees (or equivalent).

NQ Regional Festivals & Events (Regional Award) -- Northern Beaches Festival
This category applies to smaller, locally based festivals and events that are coordinated by not-for-profit organisations.

Townsville Enterprise congratulates all the successful entrants in the QNI 2006 North Queensland Tourism Awards.

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Readers comments
Syl Hayes In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
What a wonderful outcome for the school! I had a great time face-painting with Luke and Sasha, met lots of kids and parents,scored some great books at the Trash n Treasure stall, and even remembered to vote. Everywhere you looked people were enjoying themselves...such a tribute to the organisers. Well done!
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