2017 Finalists 

Congratulations to this years’ finalists

PATA New Zealand Trust Emerging Tourism Leader Award

  • Jasmine Adams, Rotorua TOP 10 Holiday Park
    Under Jasmine Adams’ leadership, the Rotorua TOP 10 Holiday Park has won many prestigious awards over the past few years. Most recently Jasmine was named the Holiday Parks NZ Emerging Star. An up-and-coming tourism entrepreneur, Jasmine also makes a valuable contribution to the wider Rotorua tourism industry, including Chair of HPNZ Rotorua.
  • Shayne Forrest, Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tours
    Shayne Forrest has been involved in initiatives that have put Matamata’s Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tours and New Zealand on the map. As Marketing Manager, Shayne has helped Hobbiton’s visitor numbers grow from 58,000 in 2012 to more than 500,000 in 2017. He also holds leadership roles in the wider tourism industry.
  • Margaret Munro, Earth & Sky Stargazing & Observatory Tours
    In the nine years she has been with Earth & Sky, General Manager Margaret Munro has grown this emerging and innovative business into a highly successful tourism operation – putting Tekapo’s night sky on the visitor map. Margaret is also respected for her work with the broader tourism and business community, readily sharing her knowledge with others.

Auckland Airport Tourism Industry Champion Award

  • Lisa Li, China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd, Auckland
    General Manager of China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd, Lisa Li is an energetic and effective advocate for the New Zealand and Chinese tourism and business sectors. CTS is one of the largest tour operators of Chinese visitors in New Zealand. Under Lisa’s leadership, the business has grown strongly. Lisa helps many tourism businesses access the important Chinese visitor market.
  • Les Morgan, Sudima Hotels & Resorts
    In just five years, Sudima’s Director of Hotels Les Morgan has carved out a distinct competitive edge for Sudima Hotels & Resorts, powering big growth in gross operating profit from the same amount of rooms and resources he started with. A visionary, Les has created a strong brand association between Sudima and sustainability.
  • Ryan Sanders, Haka Tourism Group
    Ryan Sanders is hugely enthusiastic about the New Zealand tourism industry. As the founder and sole-shareholder of Haka Tourism Group, Ryan’s roles have transitioned over the past 10 years from the only employee through to General Manager and now a more strategic growth oriented role. Ryan is a strong and influential leader, passionate about the start-up tourism space.
  • Angus Stubbs, Tourism Holdings Ltd – Discover Waitomo
    Angus Stubbs, Operations Supervisor Black Water Rafting, is a pioneer in the adventure tourism industry. He has trained hundreds of aspiring guides and safely guided more than 100,000 visitors underground. His career has been spent developing safe and enjoyable caving products for visitors to the Waitomo region, from rafting to abseil products and the Waitomo Trail Run.

Sudima Hotels & Resorts Tourism 2025 Enabler Award

  • Angus & Associates Ltd
    Angus & Associates has a consistent and proven record of working with the tourism industry and applying its extensive industry-specific knowledge and experience to craft innovative and appropriate insight solutions. Much of its work is characterised by the ability to work with a sector to make efficient use of often somewhat limited resources.
  • New Zealand Transport Agency
    Led by NZTA, the Visiting Drivers Project is an excellent example of central and local government and the private sector working together to improve road safety for visitors while maintaining New Zealand’s reputation as an attractive and safe visitor destination. The project has delivered initiatives focused on road safety at each stage of a visitor’s journey.
  • Queenstown Resort College
    Queenstown Resort College is one of New Zealand’s premier tourism and hospitality management colleges, employing 75 staff and catering to 500 full time students. It provides New Zealand’s thriving tourism industry with graduates who will become the managers, industry leaders and business entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Its programmes are constantly evolving to meet industry needs.

Westpac Business Excellence Award – Less than $6 million annual turnover

  • Auckland Seaplanes
    Offering very popular scenic flights and fly and dine/wine tasting experiences, Auckland Seaplanes brought the romance and excitement of seaplanes back to Auckland when it started business in 2013. The company has developed excellent relationships with other stakeholders and industry regulators, enabling it to grow in the high value visitor sector with its premium flights and packages. In May 2017 it achieved ISO-certification as Australasia’s first carboNZerocert™ air operator.
  • Dive! Tutukaka
    A private company operating for 18 years, Dive! Tutukaka offers a niche, weather sensitive product in an off-the-beaten-track location. Operating in a Northland marine reserve, its products range from recreational guided dives to charter boat hire, snorkelling and kayaking and a new lodge. It has 10 full-time staff and 40 returning seasonal staff. Focusing on value rather than volume, profits increased by almost 90% in the past year.
  • Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort
    Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort is a family owned business with a staff of 60. It is recognised for its innovation, quality management systems and commitment to sustainability. This multi-award winning activity and accommodation provider incorporates thermal mineral pools, an interactive warm water park, spa facility and holiday park accommodation. The resort has been a leader in the adoption of new technologies alongside robust systems which have generated positive financial results.

JLT & AIG Business Excellence Award – More than $6 million annual turnover

  • Haka Tourism Group
    Starting in 2007, Haka Tourism Group operates three to 24-day small group, adventure, snow and mountain bike tours. To ensure it controls more of the visitor experience, it launched its own upmarket hostel brand with its sixth hostel scheduled to open later this year. It will also open its first hotel this year. The business is growing at an average of 80% year on year with revenues for the next 12 months expected to exceed $17 million.
  • Real Journeys
    Real Journeys offers cruises through Milford and Doubtful Sounds, subterranean adventures through the Te Anau Glowworm Caves and cruises across Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu on the heritage steamship TSS Earnslaw. This family-owned business operates from Stewart Island to Christchurch, with more recent additions Go Orange, Cardrona Alpine Resort and the International Antarctic Centre. Strategic acquisitions have enabled it to diversify the business across seasons, increasing its geographic spread and attracting new customer demographics.
  • Skyline Queenstown
    Skyline Queenstown is all about fun, from luging and mountain biking to food and wine. As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, it has hosted almost 17 million visitors – 1.6 million in the past two years. A refreshed business strategy has seen revenue increase by nearly 14.5% over the past 12 months and work begin on a $100 million site development to future proof the business for the next 50 years.

Department of Conservation Environmental Tourism Award

  • Real Journeys
    The Walter Peak Land Restoration project near Queenstown was Real Journeys’ most ambitious conservation project. In a difficult to access area, the project saw the tourism operator remove thousands of wilding trees that were spreading to the mountains in front of Queenstown, replacing them with thousands of native shrubs and trees – a shining example of kaitiakitanga.
  • Sudima Hotels & Resorts
    Sudima Hotels & Resorts successfully strives to minimise its carbon footprint. Sudima Auckland Airport is New Zealand’s only CarbonNZero hotel. The Sudima Christchurch Airport rebuild incorporated environmentally sustainable building practices and was the city’s first hotel to install electric car charging stations. Suppliers have to prove the sustainability of their products. A company ‘Green Team’ works on green initiatives and local community projects.
  • Taupo DeBretts Spa Resort
    An environmental focus underpins this successful family owned business – New Zealand’s only Qualmark 5-star holiday park and Enviro Gold property. Significant energy savings are achieved through numerous initiatives, including a geothermal resource to heat and supply hot water, technology, recycling and staff training. A ground-breaking Predator Free programme is helping protect the resort and Taupo.
  • YHA New Zealand
    New Zealand’s largest hostel network, YHA has invested significantly in energy efficient systems, including renewable energy installations in Wellington, Rotorua, Franz Josef and Aoraki, Mt Cook. It is the first accommodation network in the world to achieve carboNZerocert™ certification. In its first year, over 22 tonnes of carbon emissions have been saved and 915 tonnes offset.

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment Industry Alignment Award

  • TIME Unlimited Tours
    TIME Unlimited Tours ‘city to cape’ cultural collection is a regional cluster development product partnering with two Regional Tourism Organisations and 13 Maori operators. This new initiative is allowing the business to address seasonality, achieve cultural integration and regional dispersal and target high value visitors, using an industry collaboration between key regional and national tourism organisations.
  • Tourism West Coast
    With limited resources, Tourism West Coast undertook a rebranding of the region, helping drive up visitor spending by 12% to $522 million in the year ending March 2017. To develop the new West Coast untamed natural wilderness brand, Tourism West Coast undertook robust research and consulted widely, including tourism operator workshops involving more than 140 people and input from Tourism New Zealand, inbound tour operators and travel agents.

He kai kei aku ringa Māori Tourism Award

  • TIME Unlimited Tours
    For over 12 years, authentic Maori experiences have been at the heart of TIME Unlimited Tours. Focusing on luxury, culture and eco-tourism, Maori culture is integrated into every aspect of its business practices and service delivery. Host-guides share New Zealand’s living culture during luxury tours and act as guardians of tikanga (customs). Its new ‘city to cape’ collection showcases 13 trade-ready Maori operators.
  • Kapiti Island Nature Tours
    Kapiti Island Nature Tours is a whanau company, operating a nature/cultural tourism experience on Kapiti Island, traditionally owned Maori land and one of Aotearoa’s most valued nature reserves. Collaborating closely with the Department of Conservation which manages part of the island, this small business successfully demonstrates Maori values in a modern context, operating a growing and profitable business.

epay NZ Tourism Marketing Award

  • Haka Tourism Group
    Haka Tourism Group developed and implemented a cutting edge digital marketing campaign that produced exceptional results, was highly innovative and tackled key challenges, such as seasonality and attracting high value visitors. The campaign has now formed a blueprint for Haka’s digital marketing activity across the group. Cutting edge digital marketing and brand positioning is driving Haka’s exceptional growth.
  • SKYCITY Auckland Ltd
    Whether it’s removing tomato from their burger or choosing relaxation over adrenaline, people like to be in control. This was the insight that underpinned ‘Choices’ – a campaign which used an interactive Pick-a-Path video to let users choose their own SKYCITY experience. One of its most successful campaigns ever, ‘Choices’ highlighted how much there was to do at SKYCITY and increased occupancy over winter.
  • YHA New Zealand
    Using high quality research and innovative technology, the YHA hostel network created a marketing campaign targeting a new set of domestic customers. The multi-channel campaign achieved brilliant results including a 4:1 return on investment, 72% increase in forward bookings, increased revenue for May and increased lead generation for future business.

ServiceIQ Visitor Experience Award

  • Skyline Rotorua
    Skyline Rotorua delivers entertainment and leisure experiences, including the world-famous luge, thrilling Zoom Zipline and Mountain Bike Gravity Park, gondola rides, nature trails, wine tasting, dining and shopping. Investing in product, people and process innovations, Skyline Rotorua has successfully reinvented a mature tourism product, significantly increasing visitor numbers and achieving exceptional profitability and guest satisfaction results.
  • thl – Tourism Holdings Ltd – NZ Rentals
    Tourism Holdings Ltd’s Self Drive division has a world class visitor experience programme, developed using extensive customer research and insight. The programme covers all parts of the customer journey – from planning to delivery and post travel. The programme has transformed the business into being truly customer-centric, using technology, data and a commitment to service to deliver a great product experience.
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds
    Northland’s historical Waitangi Treaty Grounds has transformed itself over the past four years. At the heart of the transformation was the building of the $14 million award-winning Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi. An all-inclusive day pass including entry to the new museum, all historic buildings, guided tours and cultural performances saw revenue increase by 54%, visitor numbers grow by 8% and visitor satisfaction at an all-time high.


Media Release
NZ Tourism Awards finalists revealed