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Owen River first fishing lodge to win at NZ Tourism Awards

Owen River Lodge first fishing lodge to win at NZ Tourism Awards

Luxury fishing accommodation Owen River Lodge near Murchison is the first fishing lodge ever to scoop a gong at the New Zealand Tourism Awards.

The 2018 Westpac Business Excellence Award, open to New Zealand tourist operators with less than $6m annual turnover, was presented to owner Felix Borenstein at a black tie dinner in Christchurch last night.

“I’m incredibly grateful and taken aback,” said Mr Borenstein. “I thought there was some super-stiff competition and I honestly didn’t think we were going to win.”

He acknowledged and thanked his staff, saying, “I might lead [them] but it is the team that actually did the winning, not me.”

The judges said Owen River Lodge was a brilliant example of a luxury business delivering an exceptional customer experience. “It is a role model for tourism businesses everywhere and demonstrates the benefits of high value tourism to a small community,” they said.

Over 400 industry professionals and guests attended the awards at Christchurch’s Air Force Museum, including tourism minister, Kelvin Davis and Air New Zealand CEO, Christopher Luxon.

The lodge was the only business from the top of the South Island to be shortlisted this year.

With his thoughts now on preparing to open his doors at the start of the fishing season on 1 October, it’s back to business as usual, says Mr Borenstein.


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