Local businesses star in 'Top 10 Experiences in Australia'
A LOCAL 'mum and dad' business has taken the top honours in TripAdvisor's 'Top 10 Experiences in Australia'.
Whitsunday Jet Ski Tours came in at number one in the annual Travellers Choice awards for experiences.
There's something about the Whitsundays people just can't get enough of, as it was the only region to feature twice on the list, with Ocean Rafting's Tour to Whitehaven Beach coming in at number seven.
The awards recognise the world and Australia's top bookable experiences - tours and activities, as decided by travellers and reviewers.
A skip-the-line tour of the Vatican is the number one experience worldwide.
Whitsunday Jet Ski Tours owner Toni Ward said both her and her husband, Steve, were so proud to hit the top spot.
"We really put our heart and soul into the business. We always try hard and never give up, and when we have accolades like this, it's just fantastic," she said.
Mrs Ward said there was no age limit when it came to their jet ski tours.
"All you need is a sense of adventure. We've had a 92-year-old great-grandfather on a jet ski before," she said.
The number of bookable experiences has more than doubled over the past year, with more than 200,000 experiences available on the global travel site.
TripAdvisor's 2019 Experiences Trends Report showed that outdoor activities are on the rise, with global bookings in the category jumping 56 per cent in the last year.
Mrs Ward said she had noticed more and more people searching for experiences that were a bit different
"People want more adventure and outdoor activities and, of course, with that adventure comes the natural beauty of the Whitsundays, so we've got a good combination," she said.
Whitsunday Jet Ski Tours offer guests a peak at the hidden coves and beaches nestled throughout the Whitsundays.
Tours have a maximum of 20 people, and adventure-goers get to zoom through the turquoise waters the region is famous for.
"The fact you can drive your own jet ski and really immerse yourself in that experience is unique," Mrs Ward said.
The business has been operating since August 2010, and Mrs Ward said her favourite time of year to get out on the water was from July to August, when the chances of catching a glimpse of humpback whales making the migration north from Antarctica were high.
Ocean Rafting Tours owner Jan Claxton said it was fantastic for the Whitsunday region that two local tourism operators featured on the list.
"The fact that it's from a guest point of view, and not chosen by agents, that it's people who have actually been on a tour with us is wonderful," she said.
Top 10 experiences in Australia:
1. Whitsunday Jet Ski Tours
2. The Best of Melbourne Bike Tour
3. Hervey Bay Premium Whale Watching Cruise
4. Perth East Foreshore and City Segway Tour
5. Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls Tour from Cairns
6. Hobart Kayak Tour
7. Ocean Rafting Tour To Whitehaven Beach
8. Mooloolaba Seafood Lunch Cruise
9. Sydney Beer and Brewery Tour
10. Two-Day Camping and Surfing Great Ocean Road Trip from Melbourne