Thursday, October 26, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Almost 40 dedicated Ocean Rafting team members attended the glittering Hollywood themed Whitsunday Tourism Awards ceremony on Friday night and their jubilance at the announcement of each gold award brought big grins to every face as they celebrated amongst their peers.
Taking home gold in the ‘Major Tour & Transport’ and ‘Adventure Tourism’ categories, Ocean Rafting was also acknowledged as the Whitsundays’ favourite tourism experience in the consumer-voted ‘People’s Choice Award Experience’ at the gala industry awards.
James Unsworth, Ocean Rafting’s Environmental Manager, Senior Skipper, and Master Reef Guide, was also acknowledged for his extensive contribution to the industry in the areas of marine conservation and protection, winning the esteemed Young Achiever Award.
For the past 26 years, this family-owned business has been delivering exceptional tours to countless visitors who each return home with incredible stories to tell about the Whitsundays.
Owned by long-time locals, Peter and Jan Claxton, Ocean Rafting has six family owners/members spread out over three generations actively working in the business.
Operations Manager and son, Kerr Claxton, attended the awards and said he was thrilled to celebrate with the rest of the team.
“Our passion and excitement for the work we do is always reflected in our team,” he said.
“They do the most fabulous job day in and out, but they also work hard to ensure our guests return home with the most unforgettable memories of their Whitsunday holiday, while also protecting this beautiful environment in which we work and play.
“We are incredibly proud of our team’s ongoing passion, dedication, and commitment to sharing the wonders of the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef Park.
“With the Whitsundays leading the way as one of Queensland’s most desirable destinations, particularly over the past few years, it is nice to receive this recognition in a post COVID-era where we feel we can continue to align our operations with growth and development to cater to visitors from the world over.”
Ocean Rafting’s fleet of eight semi-rigid inflatable vessels allow guests to experience their signature adrenalin-fuelled ride amongst the beauty of the Whitsundays, while a maximum of 32 passengers allows for a personalised tour with the pleasure of a small group.
“On behalf of the Ocean Rafting family, we would like to thank our loyal agents, our First Nation peoples who allow us to share their Land and Sea Country, our fellow tourism industry partners and operators, and without doubt, our guests, who allow us to continue to do what we love most,” said owner Jan Claxton.
“Receiving the Major Tour and Transport Award and the Adventure Tourism Award are true reflections of our products, which offer the adventure of a lifetime around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, surfing the waves and feeling the rush on the boats we have designed especially for this purpose, then up to the sky with our scenic flights and Fly Raft package, which is an iconic triple-whammy providing the ultimate Whitsunday experience in just one day.
“The People’s Choice Award was won based on voting from our guests and industry colleagues and the recognition is a testament to our team and our product, so we couldn’t be any prouder,” said Jan.
The Ocean Rafting team collecting their awards on Friday night. L-R - Nathan Fleming, Kerr Claxton and Jacki Dearson. Photo credit: R Jean Photography
James Unsworth, Ocean Rafting’s Environmental Manager, Senior Skipper, and Master Reef Guide was awarded Young Achiever of the Year. Photo credit: R Jean Photography
Ocean Rafting is a unique experience with adventure at its heart. Photo supplied