HAMILTON Island's Oatley family was recognised for their outstanding contribution to the tourism industry by an individual on Saturday.
The family entered the local tourism industry in 2003 and since then, their impact has advanced and grown each year.
The family passion for sailing saw them regularly attend the annual Hamilton Island Race Week and it was here the seed was sewn.
Family patriarch Bob Oatley was a regular visitor to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, and he saw that the Whitsundays had many natural advantages and great potential to develop beyond anything on offer in the market at that time.
It was with this vision and an unshakeable dedication to the development of quality products and experiences that the Oatley family entered tourism history by acquiring 100 per cent ownership of Hamilton Island.
Since then, they have invested $300 million in refurbishment and new infrastructure on the island, an investment not just in their own interests, but one which has catapulted Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays to international acclaim, setting new standards of luxury and quality tourism development globally.
Their investment in infrastructure for the region has also included the Hamilton Island Airport and aggressive expansion of air capacity into the area, providing much of the patronage to the broader region.
Throughout this time the business has retained the hallmarks of a happy and successful family business.
Bob remains as family company chairman while sons Sandy and Ian hold the positions of Hamilton Island Enterprises Executive Chairman and Director respectively.
Granddaughter Nicky works within the marketing team and grandson James is in design.
A feature of the Oatley's approach to tourism has been their proactive investment in infrastructure, despite the tough economic circumstances, to set new standards of excellence and a relentless marketing effort that constantly drives the awareness of the destination.
Hamilton Island chief executive Glenn Bourke accepted the award on behalf of the Oatley family on Saturday night.
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