Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise wins New 100% Pure Award
The Real Journeys Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise won the inaugural 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Award at the Qualmark awards hosted by the Tourism Minister at Parliament last night. The awards recognise excellence in visitor experiences and tourism sustainability. Real Journeys Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Lunch was also a finalist.
Accepting the award, Real Journeys General Manager Paul Norris paid tribute to his staff for their dedication and said the award was particularly poignant for the company because “Doubtful Sound is where it all started 65 years ago this month, with the vision of our founders - Les and Olive Hutchins”.
Just seven tourism companies received a 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Award, from 41 finalists and over 100 entrants. Only the country’s leading tourism companies with Qualmark’s highest assessment rating - the Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award were eligible to enter the awards. Qualmark is New Zealand’s official tourism quality assurance.
The judges said the Real Journeys Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise “Combined great story-telling, stunning scenery and outstanding staff to tell the story of Fiordland. The moments of silence on each cruise provide that total solitude, where guests feel totally at one with nature.”
Almost all Real Journeys experiences are Qualmark Gold rated, including its Milford Sound Cruises (day and overnight), Milford Track Guided Day Walk, TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship, Walter Peak High Country Farm, Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Stewart Island Experience, Discovery Expeditions and Doubtful Sound cruises (day and overnight).
Tourism Minister Hon. Kelvin Davies said being a finalist was a significant achievement, and that the awards recognised tourism operators who demonstrated “real dedication to manaakitanga and environmentally sustainable business practices”.