Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari wins back-to-back gold at SA Tourism Awards

KI WINNERS: Tony and Sandy Coppins from Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari collect their award for best Tour and Transport Operator at the 2019 SA Tourism Awards.
KI WINNERS: Tony and Sandy Coppins from Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari collect their award for best Tour and Transport Operator at the 2019 SA Tourism Awards.

Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari has again been crowned best Tour and Transport Operator at the 2019 South Australian Tourism Awards.

The award winners were announced at a Gala Dinner on Friday, November 8 at the Adelaide Convention Centre with more than 700 industry representatives in attendance.

Tony and Sandy Coppins were there to collect their award and were stoked to win the best Tour and Transport Operator for a second year in a row.

"We are so pumped to represent Kangaroo Island in these awards," Mr Coppins said from the awards ceremony. "Great to have won back-to-back gold medals - our team is so passionate about KI tourism!"

The couple have been very busy setting up their new business Adelaide Ocean Safari but he credited Sandy for putting an excellent submission.

"We were a little surprised to win as we were against some very stiff competition," he said. "It's a credit to our staff who run our operation on Kangaroo Island."

Recognised as Tourism's Night of Nights, the awards acknowledged more than 25 category winners who have gone over and above to achieve outstanding success and set the standards for best business practice.

Most category winners will go on to represent South Australia at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra in 2020.

Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA) chief executive officer, Shaun de Bruyn congratulated Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari.

"The awards are judged alongside strict criteria making it a highly regarded accolade that celebrates the innovation, passion and dedication of our tourism operators," Mr de Bruyn said.

"As a state we should all be proud of our award winners and the hard work they put forward to deliver unique and memorable visitor experiences."

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon David Ridgway, congratulated the winners and wished them well on the national stage.

"South Australia has so many world-class tourism offerings, and tonight we are here to recognise and celebrate the people and businesses that drive our successful tourism industry," he said.

"We celebrate the high standard of all finalists in the room and wish the winners all the best as you head to the national awards, proudly representing South Australia, and showcasing our state's incredible passion, endeavour and innovation."

Rodney Harrex, Chief Executive of Tourism Awards Principal Partner - South Australian Tourism Commission, said it was pleasing to see some uniquely South Australian experiences recognised in the awards.

"We know we have so many amazing tourism operators in South Australia, driving our $7.6 billion visitor economy and working hard to grow our sector, and give visitors life-long memories," he said.

"Congratulations to all of the winners, each putting SA firmly on the map, driving jobs and opportunities in the industry and pushing creativity at every opportunity."