ETravel Blackboard- Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Port Stephens whale and dolphin tourism operator, Imagine Cruises, has scored a Certificate of Excellence from the world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor, placing it on the site’s top-performing 10 per cent of businesses worldwide, following consistent high ratings from passengers.
And in another boon for Port Stephens’ $400 million tourism industry, holiday rental company, Port Stephens Accommodation, has become the first tourism business in the region to achieve accreditation with the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program, earning it the Federal Government’s T-QUAL tick for quality service.
The accolade for Imagine Cruises, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to businesses that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
Imagine Cruises is co-owned by Frank Future, one of Australia’s foremost experts on whales, dolphins and ecotourism. “We are very proud of this endorsement of our efforts to run a friendly and efficient cruise business in Port Stephens, with our focus always on the marine environment and enhancing our customers’ knowledge of it, and we thank everyone who gave us the thumbs up on TripAdvisor,” Mr Future said.
Meanwhile, Port Stephens Accommodation, which manages more than 200 self-contained holiday properties in the area, has received a coveted T-QUAL tick from the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program, a national business development program promoting quality and professional product and service delivery in the tourism industry. Businesses displaying the T-QUAL tick have undergone rigorous assessment to ensure they deliver a quality experience.
“Port Stephens Accommodation has always been committed to providing a high quality experience and it is an achievement to have this recognised by a national program and a credit to our business practices and staff,” said business principal, Michael Aylmer. “We have been continually developing our practices and service levels over the last 30 years and pride ourselves on both the way we manage properties for our owners and the level of service we provide for guests.”
Commenting on the two awards, Destination Port Stephens Marketing Manager, Tars Bylhouwer, said: “These endorsements show how tourism operators in Port Stephens are working hard to deliver outstanding experiences for our growing number of visitors and I congratulate both companies on these excellent achievements.”