Funtastic takes the lead as US troops hit the high seas
FUNTASTIC Cruises is going from strength to strength at the helm of new owner Carl Heales, who has taken the business and promoting the Capricorn Coast region to the next level.
Carl has hit the ground running, getting out and about talking to caravan park operators, hostel and hotel managers, working with Keppel Bay Marina and local businesses to promote the region he lovingly calls home.
The proactive tourism operator has recently been taking local business people on familiarisation trips on board Funtastic Cruises and encouraging people to explore their own backyard and it hasn't stopped there.
Identifying potential in the recent military operation Hamel, Carl wanted to make the most of the US Military exercise troops that have been based at Camp Rocky.
Carl said he noticed there weren't many of the troops around the Capricorn Coast area and wanted to change that.
"We made a few calls, showed our military contacts our product and it only took one trip with the troops and Funtastic Cruises started filling up as troops from the first cruise started spreading the word about how much fun they had," Carl said.
"They were an amazing group to work with, great ambassadors to their country, they love our lifestyle and the way we live it."
While Carl makes it sound easy, it was his impressive manner of working in partnership with other local businesses that made the Capricorn Coast the place to see for the visiting troops.
"Little Johnny's Bus Co gave us a great transfer rate to transfer the troops from Rockhampton to the beach. We co-ordinated with our local Yeppoon Rip Curl surf shop to open early so the boys could get swimmers for the day, we then transferred to Keppel Bay Marina where the team at the Waterline Restaurant had morning coffees for them," he said.
"We then got them boarded on Funtastic for a day sailing the Keppels, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, paddleboarding, kayaking secluded islands, walking remote lookouts and whale watching.
"This has been an amazing experience and really had a profound effect on them and us."
Carl said he organised for local jewellery and gift shops to remain open after hours so the troops could purchase and take presents home for their wives and children in the States.
"It was the collective and collaborative efforts that made it happen and value added not only to local business, but more importantly the visitors' day as tourists in our area. They will never forget their experiences and are sure to tell others when they go home.
"The last few weeks working together with local business to attract and generate business for the whole community has been invigorating.
"What really makes me happy are the faces and comments from the people we take on these fun cruises, they are a fabulous reminder of just how beautiful and amazing our region is.
"We have a great team in Rod and Ita on the boat, Rod has been skippering these waters for decades, he knows all the best spots and has incorporated some amazing routes through the islands and Reef areas and on the islands with secluded beach walks and lookouts to explore."
"YOUR staff are world class and the best in their craft.
"Your business is top notch which starts from the top and trickles down to every echelon. Rod and Ida are professional, but more importantly, ambassadors and stewards of the sea.
"Hands down the greatest experience of our military and for most, our civilian lives.
"Thank you for letting us take part in the exploration of your backyard playground around the Capricorn Coast and Keppel Islands, truly remarkable."
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