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Visit Ruapehu wins Supreme Award at RTNZ Awards

Visit Ruapehu has won the Supreme Award at this years Regional Tourism New Zealand Awards.

The award recognises the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) that achieved the most significant results in the last 12 months. Visit Ruapehu was the clear winner for their collaborative approach to tourism in their region.

“Visit Ruapehu has shown how a small, tourism rich region punches above its weight. With limited resources they recognised that engaging meaningfully with their stakeholders, communities, and local and central government partners was essential to ensure sustainable sector growth and improve the visitor experience” says Regional Tourism New Zealand Executive Officer Charlie Ives.

“The Ruapehu Regional Visitor Development Plan is an example of this co-operation, being jointly developed with DOC and MBIE on the Tongariro National Park Spatial Plan, Visit Ruapehu on marketing campaigns, sector performance and new operating model, and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts” he says

Council support of tourism provides a pathway for many to enter the workforce and gain important skills, and supports the objective of growing jobs, incomes and opportunities for Ruapehu communities. Both Visit Ruapehu and Council have been working closely with central government and neighbouring regions which has been central to unlocking opportunities and responding to the pressures from the sector’s growth.

“Visit Ruapehu has demonstrated how a collaborative approach to planning, developing, managing and marketing a region within a system-based framework provides returns well beyond the investment.” says Mr Ives.

The Regional Tourism New Zealand Awards announced in Auckland last night celebrate the success of regional tourism organisations throughout the country and recognise their work within the tourism industry.

The winners of the 2019 Regional Tourism New Zealand Awards are:

Visit Ruapehu - Supreme Award

As above

Whanganui and Partners - Digital Performance Award

Digital marketing skills are an essential part of the role of successful Regional Tourism Organisations. This year the Digital Performance Award focused on improvement - recognising Whanganui & Partners as the top RTO for generating the most dramatic gains in online reach and influence over the last 3 years of any RTO in New Zealand. Sponsored by international marketing agency, Miles Partnership, the award assessed each RTO’s website, social media and online video audience and engagement – tracked over the last 3 years.

“Whanganui started from a very modest base but showed the strongest growth of any RTO over the last few years – a stand out improver amongst a wide range of RTOs that generated strong growth in digital marketing results” noted Chris Adams, General Manager of Miles Partnership South Pacific “Even smaller regions like Whanganui can have an outsized impact by using digital marketing platforms in smart and innovative ways” .

Other finalists in this category were:

• Destination Marlborough

• Destination Rotorua

Honourable mentions to consistently strong performers:

• Destination Lake Taupo

• Destination Coromandel

• Lake Wanaka Tourism

Destination Marlborough - Industry Supporter Award

Destination Marlborough wins the Great Journeys of New Zealand Industry Supporter Award for their outstanding marketing and promotion of the Marlborough region.

“The team at Destination Marlborough go above and beyond to enable the travel industry. From the organising and hosting of famils, to their diligent representation of the region. Destination Marlborough’s commitment to regular communications, networking opportunities, including their regular trade update meetings and year round assistance is exemplary.” Says Jodine Simmons, Business Development Specialist at KiwiRail Tourism.

Other finalists in this category were:

• Enterprise Dunedin

• Development West Coast

Activate Tairāwhiti – Qualmark Advocacy Award

The Qualmark Advocacy Award goes to Activate Tairāwhiti for their work supporting and promoting the Qualmark, New Zealand’s quality rating system for the tourism industry.

“In late 2018 Adam and the team at Activate Tairāwhiti approached Qualmark to work alongside them with a number of new and existing businesses that they wished to fast track into the international marketplace. This partnership working from such an early stage was a wonderful example where Qualmark could offer maximum value in helping set new businesses up for long term sustainable success” says Gregg Anderson, Chief Executive of Qualmark.

Other finalists in this category were:

• Tourism Bay of Plenty

• Destination Fiordland

Hamilton and Waikato Tourism – Best Marketing Performance with an Airport

The award for best marketing performance goes to Hamilton and Waikato Tourism

“The standout region for us this year has been Hamilton and Waikato Tourism, doing good work on a number of fronts including a highly successful domestic marketing campaign with Christchurch International Airport, and excellent partnership work with us, that will improve the visitor experience for Chinese guests in the Waikato.” says Scott Callaway, General Manager, Trade Development at Christchurch International Airport, sponsors of the award.

Other finalists in this category were

• Tourism Waitaki

• Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED)

Destination Queenstown – Tiaki Care for New Zealand Award

Sponsored by Tourism New Zealand, the Tiaki Care for New Zealand Award goes to the RTO that has best promoted the values of Tiaki – Care for New Zealand, in their region.

“Destination Queenstown is doing great work in their community to encourage industry adoption of Tiaki – Care for New Zealand. They have a dedicated Tiaki ambassador whose job it is to educate local businesses face-to-face about Tiaki – Care for New Zealand, including why and how they can support it. They’ve also distributed window decals to every business in town to ensure Tiaki is highly visible to visitors. They’ve told us this is just the beginning and we look forward to seeing what they do next” says Paul Yeo, Industry Communications Manager at Tourism New Zealand.

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