About the Awards

The New Zealand Tourism Awards celebrate individual and business success across our dynamic $39 billion industry.

Brought to you by Tourism Industry Aotearoa in association with key industry partners, the Awards provide a benchmark for excellence. They inspire others, recognise industry alignment and profile those enabling the industry to reach the aspirational goal of $41 billion total tourism revenue in 2025.

For finalists and winners – the Awards can help raise the profile of your operation, enhance staff morale and provide recognition for your achievements from your industry peers.

The 2019 awards have been reviewed to align with the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment and to display the industry’s efforts to grow a sustainable tourism industry that benefits all New Zealanders.

Entries will open on 16 May 2019. It’s a good idea to start thinking about your submission now and make sure you allow sufficient time so that it best represents your ability and achievements. Strict word counts apply, and these are laid out in the criteria.

Categories and criteria

Supreme Tourism Award

The Supreme Tourism Award winner will be selected from the ten business award winners. The actions or initiatives and results achieved by the business or organisation will have created a step-change that makes an outstanding contribution to growing a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders.

Individual Awards

The Individual Awards are designed to recognise tourism professionals who demonstrate excellence through their achievement of business outcomes and industry leadership. These Awards recognise tourism professionals at different levels of their career.

Emerging Tourism Leader Award

Awarded to an outstanding tourism professional who has been in the tourism industry workforce for less than 10 years (commencing work in a tourism role in or after 2009).

View Criteria

Tourism Industry Champion Award

Awarded to an outstanding tourism professional who has been in the tourism industry workforce for more than 10 years (commencing work in a tourism role before 2009).

View Criteria

Sir Jack Newman Outstanding Industry Leader Award

This prestigious award recognises an individual’s outstanding contribution to New Zealand tourism over many years. Entries for this award are by nomination only. Please email TIA for more information and a nomination form.

View Nomination Form

Business Awards

These Awards recognise the outstanding organisations in our industry.

Visitor Experience Award

This award recognises a tourism business that is driving value through meeting and exceeding the expectations of visitors. The business can demonstrate how it is driving value by delivering a consistently excellent visitor experience, by focusing on the unique culture and character of the experience it offers its visitors. It will show what steps it has taken to improve the end-to-end visitor experience and the outcome. The business will support the Tiaki Promise, and engages with visitors to educate them about New Zealand’s cultural and behavioural expectations.

View Criteria

Māori Tourism Award

New Zealand’s unique Māori culture is a powerful point of differentiation for the New Zealand tourism industry and a way we can enhance the visitor experience.

This award recognises a commercial tourism business that is delivering an authentic Māori tourism visitor experience or product, incorporating the core values of manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga and whanaungatanga into its business and its visitor offering, and demonstrating rangatiratanga within the tourism industry.

View Criteria

Industry Enabler Award

This award recognises a central or local government agency, research organisation, education provider or sector association that is helping grow a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders. Enabler initiatives may include, but aren’t limited to, those that remove barriers to travel, improve the visitor experience, provide valuable new industry insight, facilities or services, generate knowledge to improve decision making, or build connections to advance industry performance.

The objective of the initiative should be the betterment of the tourism industry, and may be ongoing.

View Criteria

Tourism Sustainability Business Excellence Award – less than $6m annual turnover

This award recognises excellence in the design and implementation of initiatives to grow the whole tourism business sustainably. This business will be achieving outstanding economic results, high visitor satisfaction, and will be taking significant action towards achieving host community and environmental sustainability. Overall, it will demonstrate leadership in the progress it is making towards meeting the 14 Tourism Sustainability Commitment business commitments and the contribution it is making to grow a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders.

This award recognises that smaller organisations may have limited access to resources and fewer staff.

View Criteria

Tourism Sustainability Business Excellence Award – more than $6m annual turnover

This award recognises excellence in the design and implementation of initiatives to grow the whole tourism business sustainably. This business will be achieving outstanding economic results, high visitor satisfaction, and be taking significant action towards achieving host community and environmental sustainability. Overall, it will demonstrate leadership in the progress it is making towards meeting the 14 Tourism Sustainability Commitment business commitments and the contribution it is making to grow a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders.

This award recognises larger organisations may have more resources accessible to them but may also face greater levels of complexity when implementing initiatives and strategies to grow their business.

View Criteria

Industry Connections Award

This award recognises a Regional Tourism Organisation, Economic Development Agency, or two or more businesses that have aligned/partnered to successfully maximise their tourism industry impact and results. This could include a marketing campaign, product development, or an initiative to address an industry issue such as overcoming seasonality, encouraging regional dispersal, educating visitors about New Zealand’s cultural and behavioural expectations, improving visitor satisfaction, championing ecological restoration, or engaging with the host community.

This award recognises creativity and innovation in organisations working together to achieve demonstrable results and contribute to growing a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders.

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Environmental Award*

This award recognises an environmentally sustainable and financially successful tourism business that embraces kaitiakitanga. Kaitiakitanga is the guardianship and protection of our natural, built and cultural resources for the benefit of current and future generations. The business actively supports and champions ecological restoration initiatives, and is measuring, managing and minimising its environmental footprint. Its environmental actions, programme and initiatives are helping grow a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders.

*Note this Award may be split into two awards - one covering conservation and one environmental. The criteria will be the same for each award.

View Criteria

Community Engagement Award

Welcoming, supportive communities are a vital part of what New Zealand has to offer our visitors. Successful tourism businesses protect and enhance their social licence to operate within their communities. This Award recognises a business that is a leader in engaging and supporting vibrant communities. It has a well thought out and executed programme to successfully engage with the communities in which it operates. It is working to establish shared trust and values, and is using a variety of approaches to connect with its host community/ies, including informing, consulting, involving and collaborating.

View Criteria

Employer of Choice Award

Desirable and responsible employers are vital to growing a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders. A skilled workforce enables the tourism industry to flourish and grow. Being a desirable and responsible employer protects and enhances your social licence to operate.

This Award recognises a business that is a leader in providing sustainable employment and quality jobs. It is supporting its workforce to flourish and succeed, and pays a fair wage to all staff.

View Criteria

Economic Success Award

Financially successful tourism businesses deliver prosperity across the New Zealand economy. Their economic success enables them to invest in the other elements of tourism sustainability – host community, visitor and environment. This award recognises a tourism business that is experiencing sustainable financial growth through ongoing profitability, innovation, quality improvement and investment.

View Criteria

People's Choice Award

This award gives New Zealanders the opportunity to vote for their favourite tourism experience from our business awards finalists. All eligible finalists are profiled by NZME and the New Zealand Herald.

This initiative is part of a partnership between TIA and media company NZME to promote the Awards finalists and winners.

Key dates

Entries Open

16 MAY 2019

Complete the online entry form, choose the categories you wish to enter and then pay the entry fee. You’ll be emailed a link to start the submission process straight away.

Submissions Close

27 JUNE 2019

You’ll have until 5.00 pm (NZST) on 27 June to complete your submission.

Dinner Tickets on Sale

2 AUGUST 2019

Who will take out the top tourism title? You’ll be able to book your tickets to the Awards Dinner and be there to find out.

Finalists Announced

3 SEPTEMBER 2019

We’ll be ready to share the good news, with finalists being announced for each award.

Awards Dinner

24 OCTOBER 2019

Drum roll please!
The New Zealand Tourism Awards culminates in a prestigious black tie dinner. Finalists will be recognised, winners announced and the recipient of the coveted Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Award revealed