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Young founder of Explore NZ recognised

Young founder of Explore NZ recognised for tourism industry contribution

A talented and highly motivated entrepreneur who founded the marine and adventure-based tour company Explore NZ has won the 2008 PATA Young Tourism Professional Award, announced at last night’s Industry Awards Celebration Dinner in Christchurch.

The accolade, which is part of the Tourism Industry Awards, recognises talented young individuals in the tourism sector who due to their passion, innovation and commitment to professional excellence are making a real difference within the industry.

Nine years ago at just 23 years-old, North Shore-based William Goodfellow decided to turn his passion for sailing into a marine tourism business offering sailing trips on a single ex-America’s Cup yacht in the Hauraki Gulf.

Today, William, the founder and managing director of Explore NZ has grown the company to become a hugely successful multi-faceted excursion tourism company incorporating six iconic brands.

These brands include the Auckland-based Sail NZ, Whale & Dolphin Safari, Pride of Auckland and the Bay of Island-based Dolphin Discoveries, Sail NZ and Explore 4x4, which thousands of local and international tourists have experienced and enjoyed.

Qualmark endorsed and winners of the Tourism Industry Award for adventure activity with Sail NZ in 2003, Explore NZ is regarded as a leader in the tourism market.

PATA NZ Trust Chairperson Neil Plimmer said William is the ideal candidate for the award.

“William’s dedication to identifying a niche and building a quality business is exemplary,” Mr Plimmer said. “He has already made huge positive contributions to the Auckland and Northland tourism industries, and under his leadership and direction the company will continue to grow and prosper.

“The PATA NZ Trust was also impressed by William’s ongoing commitment to the environment with the company’s code of corporate environmental conduct, CarbonGreen™,” adds Mr Plimmer. “It is important that the tourism industry shows a willingness to invest in managing tourism's impact on the environment so that our visitors can continue to enjoy stunning New Zealand experiences for many years to come.”

William is extremely pleased with the win and said it’s a credit to his team.

“This award is a real acknowledgement of the strong Explore NZ team. I am hugely appreciative of their contribution, as well as that of industry partners, to create this extraordinary tourism success.”

William joins previous award recipients Jason Dell, executive chef at luxury lodge, Blanket Bay; Melissa Crockett, director of Potiki Adventures; Chris Lamers, who was general manager of Positively Wellington Tourism until recently; Malcolm Johns, CEO of InterCity Group Limited; Paul Bingham, CEO of Black Cat Cruises; Richard Wilson, previously of Tourism Holdings Group; and Simon Douglas, formerly Ministry of Tourism and now at Tourism New Zealand.

About PATA NZ Trust:

PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) is an international organisation committed to sustainable growth and development of the global tourism industry.

The PATA New Zealand Trust was founded to support this aim and established the PATA Young Tourism Professional Award in 2001 as part of the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) annual Tourism Industry Awards.


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