ON THE WATER: Ocean Rafting is a popular ecotourism operator in the Whitsundays.
ON THE WATER: Ocean Rafting is a popular ecotourism operator in the Whitsundays. Contributed

Whitsunday operator inducted into ecotourism hall of fame

WHITSUNDAY tourism business Ocean Rafting has been entered into the Ecotourism Australia Hall of Fame.

The business received the accolade for being continuously certified as an Ecotourism operator for 20 years or longer.

Ocean Rafting was the only tourism operator from the Whitsundays recognised and one of only 14 operators Australia-wide to be acknowledged. To be classed as an Ecotourism operator, a business must be certified under the National Ecotourism Accreditation Program, meaning it meets a global best practices standard.

Owner of Ocean Rafting Jan Claxton said she had been dedicated to responsible and sustainable tourism for more than 20 years.

"Our entire team are proud ambassadors for environmentally responsible, ethical, educational and sustainable tourism," Ms Claxton said.

"We all feel strongly about our duty in protecting the future of the Great Barrier Reef by adopting environmentally friendly practices into everyday operations."

Ms Claxton said she was proud to have helped to protect the environment.

"We are doing the best we can on a daily basis to protect the very special environment in which we operate," she said.

"To be acknowledged as one of only 14 operators Australia-wide makes me feel very proud."

Ms Claxton was recently invited to present at the Ecotourism Australia Masterclass held in Cairns. She spoke about Ecotourism excellence and what it means to be a certified operator. Ocean Rafting has been certified for its Whitsunday tours since 1998 at the Advanced Ecotourism level, the highest level of ECO certification achievable.

The business has seven boats in operation and conducts daily tours to the Whitsunday islands.