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Forgotten World Adventures scoops tourism awards

MEDIA RELEASE

13 December 2013

Forgotten World Adventures scoops tourism awards

Taumarunui-based tourism business Forgotten World Adventures last night won a major award in the inaugural Ruapehu Tourism Awards.

Forgotten World Adventures, which runs unique self-drive rail cart tours between Taumarunui and Stratford, was named the region's Best New Business.

The company was also runner up in the Best Use of Social Media award.

Chief judge Paul Yeo, Tourism New Zealand's Industry Relations Manager, said Forgotten World Adventures was an innovative operation that had a thorough understanding of its market.

"A key issue for any new business is to really understand its target market. Forgotten World Adventures has a very different tourism product that is being marketed in a very focused way."

Despite having been operating for little more than a year, Forgotten World Adventures had already established a good brand, he said.

Forgotten World Adventures owner Ian Balme was thrilled with the awards, which he said was recognition of the energy and commitment of the talented FWA team.

"In this region we are spoiled for choice in outstanding natural resources and tourism activities, with plenty of scope for continued growth. With 1 in 10 people in New Zealand now working in tourism, I believe the industry can still make a significant additional contribution to employment in the Ruapehu region.

"FWA has recently commissioned a Waikato University research project to measure the economic impact of our business on the region, which should add useful information to local decision making," he said.

"The local community and contractors have been incredibly supportive of our venture, which has been quite humbling. When necessary they have gone out of their way to help us keep our visitors on track and enjoying this remote and beautiful part of New Zealand."

Bookings for this season are well ahead of schedule, with a number of tours already fully booked. To meet the growing demand, Forgotten World Adventures this week scheduled more than 50 additional tours during the season.

The Ruapehu awards follow the company's success in September in the Westpac Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, where FWA was named Best New Business.

ENDS

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