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Top tourism businesses named as Awards finalists

Established tourism operators will go head to head with newer businesses in this year’s New Zealand Tourism Awards.

The finalists for the most prestigious awards in New Zealand’s $39.1 billion tourism industry have been announced today. 37 finalists from around New Zealand are in the running for 16 awards. The winner of each business category is then in contention for the Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Award that comes with a prize valued at over $20,000. The NZME People’s Choice Award is up for voting from the public for all finalists that have a customer-facing business.

The 2019 Awards have been updated to align with the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment, recognising environmentally sustainable and financially successful tourism businesses that embrace kaitiakitanga. Three new awards – for Community Engagement, Employer of Choice Award, and Economic Success – have attracted strong interest from entrants.

“More than 100 tourism businesses and individuals have entered the awards, which
celebrate the industry’s success, and recognise the efforts of operators to provide economic, environmental and social benefits to New Zealanders and Aotearoa,” Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone who took the time to enter the Awards, even if they didn’t make it to finalist status. The Awards are a valuable opportunity to benchmark your business against your peers and demonstrate that you are striving to be the best.”

Three leading tourism professionals will also be recognised with individual awards. As well as the Emerging Tourism Leader Award and Tourism Industry Champion Award, the Sir Jack Newman Award will be announced. Annually since 1963 this award has recognised an individual’s outstanding contribution to tourism in New Zealand.

All the winners will be revealed at a black-tie dinner in Christchurch on Thursday 24 October.

About the New Zealand Tourism Awards
The New Zealand Tourism Awards 2019 are run by TIA, with Award Partners Air New Zealand and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. The Awards are also supported by Auckland Airport, Angus & Associates, Department of Conservation, Enviro-Mark Solutions, The Great Journeys of New Zealand, operated and owned by Kiwirail, He Kai Kei Aku Ringa, Horwath HTL, Marsh, NZME, PATA New Zealand Trust, Tourism Talent, Tourism Ticker, Westpac, New Zealand Māori Tourism, ChristchurchNZ, Hamish Fletcher Lawyers, Pacific Tourways, Christchurch Casino, Monteith’s, Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust and Vbase as an Event partner.
For more information on the New Zealand Tourism Awards, visit

2019 New Zealand Tourism Awards finalists

Auckland Airport Tourism Sustainability Business Excellence Award – more than $6m annual turnover
Air New Zealand
INFLITE, Auckland
Southern Discoveries, Queenstown and Fiordland

Tourism Ticker Tourism Sustainability Business Excellence Award – less than $6m annual turnover
Forgotten World Adventures, Taumarunui
Kaitiaki Adventures, Rotorua
Redwoods Treewalk & Nightlights, Rotorua

He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Māori Tourism Award
Kaitiaki Adventures, Rotorua
MDA Experiences, Rotorua
Wharewaka o Pōneke Enterprises Ltd, Wellington

Westpac Economic Success Award
GCH Aviation Ltd, Christchurch
Redwoods Treewalk & Nightlights, Rotorua
Skyline Queenstown

The Great Journeys of New Zealand Industry Enabler Award
Auckland Airport
• Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) & Tomahawk – Go With Tourism
• Department of Conservation – 2018-19 ‘Kiwi Way’ summer visitor campaign

Community Engagement Award
Coastal Pacific, A Great Journey of New Zealand
Stray & Kohutapu Lodge, Murupara
Skyline Queenstown

Angus & Associates Visitor Experience Award
Auckland War Memorial Museum
GO Rentals, Auckland
Mad Campers Ltd, Auckland
Owen River Lodge, Murchison

Tourism Talent Employer of Choice Award
AJ Hackett Bungy NZ
GCH Aviation Ltd, Christchurch
SkyCity Entertainment Group
Sudima Hotels

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment Industry Connections Award
Development West Coast – Tourism
Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Enviro-Mark Solutions Environmental Award
Auckland Zoo – Te Whare Kararehe o Tamaki Makaurau
Kiwi Experience
Sudima Hotels
YHA New Zealand

Department of Conservation - Conservation Award
Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari
Auckland Zoo – Te Whare Kararehe o Tamaki Makaurau
Black Cat Cruises, Akaroa
Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony

PATA New Zealand Trust Emerging Tourism Leader Award
Jason Dawson, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism
Adrian Thompson, GO Rentals, Auckland
Trent Yeo, Ziptrek Ecotours, Queenstown

Marsh Tourism Industry Champion Award
John Barrett, Kapiti Island Nature Tours
Fergus Brown, Holiday Parks New Zealand
Lisa Li, China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd, Auckland

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