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Dive! Tutukaka Comes Up With the Gold

Dive! Tutukaka Comes Up With the Gold

New Zealand’s largest dive charter operator, Dive! Tutukaka won the Supreme Award at the Tourism Industry Awards celebration dinner held in Wellington tonight.

The company, which started only six years ago, now transports over 12,000 customers each year to dive, snorkel, kayak or sightsee at the Poor Knights Islands, 25km off Northland’s east coast.

Fiona Luhrs, Chief Executive of the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) which manages the Awards, said that Dive! Tutukaka epitomised a successful tourism venture, focusing on customer service, profitability and sustainability.

The company also won the new Department of Conservation – Conservation in Action Award for its significant contribution to conservation, from direct conservation action to strong advocacy for the Poor Knights to receive World Heritage status as a Marine Reserve.

“Adventure activity is integral to our reputation as a dynamic holiday destination. It is the vivid experiences of activities such as diving in a world class sub-tropical dive spot that help to draw in international visitors,” Ms Luhrs said.

This year’s Tourism Industry Association-managed Awards have set a new benchmark for business excellence within the industry. Evaluated under the Baldrige business excellence process, the systematic approach to assessing and scoring finalists means entries are becoming more and more thorough. Past entrants have also benefited from the feedback from Judges and have used the opportunity to re-evaluate their business activity.

The Supreme Award winner was chosen from the winners of three business categories: Visitor Accommodation, Visitor Activities and Attractions, and Tourism and Transportation Services. There is also an Innovation category, which allows organisations to enter an innovative event or aspect of their business.

New trophies have been designed for this year’s Awards by renowned creative icon and Auckland sculptor John Edgar.

“The design celebrates the unique qualities of the New Zealand landscape. I believe that it is this, together with our culture and heritage, that attracts visitors to New Zealand,” Mr Edgar said. “The land is symbolised by a block of beautiful fine-grained black diorite (similar to granite) from Southland, and the flora is symbolised by three hand-forged steel leaves bound together to indicate unity and co-operation in the industry.”

Distinction Awards are presented to companies who have won three awards in the Business category over the previous six years. Tonight the Distinction Award was presented to Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa who won the Visitor Attraction sub-category this year. Their consistently excellent performance in the Tourism Industry Awards earns them a place in the Tourism Hall of Fame.

Ms Luhrs said the Award winners and finalists clearly demonstrated the New Zealand tourism industry had a strong platform to continue to grow and ensure quality visitor experiences.

Major partners of the Awards are: Air New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand, KEA Campers, Whale Watch Kaikoura, Montana, VISA, Westpac, Telecom, Budget Car and Truck Rental, Super Shuttle, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Department of Conservation, Horwath Asia Pacific, Green Globe and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

Please find attached a full list of the Awards winners, by both region and category.

Key statistics about tourism:

Tourism is the world's fastest growing industry

New Zealand tourism arrivals have doubled in size since 1994 to 2.38 million

Forecast annual growth is 4% on average for at least the next five years

Tourism is New Zealand's single largest export sector and contributed $7.4 billion dollars to the economy in the year ended March 2004. That is 18.5% of exports

Domestic tourism contributes $9.8 billion to the economy each year

Tourism directly and indirectly employs 10 percent of the work force. That is one in 10 jobs in New Zealand.

Tourism represents 9.4% of gross domestic product and generates nearly $500 million in GST returns from international visitors each year. Tourism is the only export sector whose international clients pay GST.

Tourism Industry Awards 2006 (Winners by Category)


1. Major Category - Visitor Accommodation

Winner: Heritage Queenstown

Sub Category winners:

Boutique Accommodation
Kawaha Point Lodge, Rotorua

Hotel Accommodation
Heritage Queenstown

2. Major Category - Visitor Attractions and Activities

Winner: Dive! Tutukaka

Sub category winners:

Adventure Activity
Dive! Tutukaka

Cultural and Heritage Tourism
Wellington Cable Car Museum

Leisure Activity
Haast River Safari

Retail and Hospitality
Ancient Kauri Kingdom, Awanui

Visitor Attraction
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa

Visitor Transport
Pacific Blue Airlines, Christchurch

3. Major Category - Tourism and Transportation Services

Winner: Positively Wellington Tourism

Sub category winners:

Tourism Communication and Information Services
New Zealand Tourism Online, Christchurch

Tourism Marketing
“Have a Love Affair with Wellington”

Positively Wellington Tourism

Tourism Service Provider
Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

4. Major Innovation Category

Winner: WMRA World Mountain Running Trophy – Sports Impact

Sub category winners:

Innovation in E-Commerce and New Technology
Spaceships Ltd, Auckland

Innovation in Eco-Tourism
Dolphin Watch Ecotours, Picton

Innovation in Events, Meetings and Incentives
WMRA World Mountain Running Trophy 2005, Wellington

Special Award winners

Green Globe Environmental Award – Nomad Safaris

PATA Young Tourism Professional – Melissa Crockett, Potiki Adventures

Westpac Small Tourism Operator Award – Monarch Wildlife Cruises

Qualmark Tourism Mark of Quality Award – Abel Tasman Wilson’s Experiences

Horwath Asia Pacific – Sir Jack Newman Award – George Harford, co-founder of the Agrodome, Rotorua

Department of Conservation – Conservation in Action Award – Dive! Tutukaka

Tourism Industry Awards 2006 (Winners by region)

Ancient Kauri Kingdom, Awanui

(Retail and Hospitality sub category winner)

Dive! Tutukaka

(Supreme Award winner,

Visitor Attractions and Activities Category Award winner,

Adventure Activity sub category winner)

International Travel College of New Zealand, Auckland

(Tourism Service Provider sub category winner)

Spaceships Ltd, Auckland

(Innovation in E-Commerce and New Technology sub category winner)

Melissa Crockett

Potiki Adventures, Auckland

(PATA Young Tourism Professional Award winner)

Kawaha Point Lodge, Rotorua

(Boutique Accommodation sub category winner)

George Harford M.B.E

(Horwath Sir Jack Newman Award) c/- Warren Harford

Managing Director, Agrodome

Positively Wellington Tourism for “Have a Love Affair with Wellington” (Tourism and Transportation Services Category winner, Tourism Marketing sub category winner)

Wellington Cable Car Museum

(Cultural and Heritage Tourism sub category winner)

WMRA World Mountain Running Trophy 2005, Wellington

(Innovation Category winner, Innovation in Events, Meetings and Incentives sub category winner)

Abel Tasman Wilson’s Experiences, Motueka

(Qualmark Tourism Mark of Quality Award winner)

Dolphin Watch Ecotours, Picton

(Innovation in Eco-Tourism sub category winner)

West Coast
Haast River Safari, South Westland

(Leisure Activity sub category winner)

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism

(Tourism Service Provider sub category winner)

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

(Distinction Award, Visitor Attraction sub category winner)

New Zealand Tourism Online, Christchurch

(Tourism Communication and Information Services sub category winner, Telecom People’s Choice Award winner)

Pacific Blue Airlines, Christchurch

(Visitor Transport sub category winner)

Heritage Queenstown

(Visitor Accommodation Category winner, Hotel Accommodation sub category winner)

Nomad Safaris, Queenstown

(Green Globe Environmental Award winner)

Monarch Wildlife Cruises Ltd, Dunedin

(Westpac Small Tourism Business Operator Award)

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