Northland Inc general manager regional promotions Paul Davis says ‘Dive Tutukaka’s’ success in the 2015 Tourism Industry Awards (TIA) is a big boost for the industry in the region.
Entered in three of the 11 categories on offer (Tourism Industry Champion, Business Excellence Award – annual turnover less than $6 million and Environmental Tourism Award) Dive Tutukaka’s Jeroen Jongejans won the Tourism Industry Champion award at the black-tie event in Auckland on Friday night.
“As the region’s RTO and economic development agency Northland Inc would like to congratulate Dive Tutukaka and Jeroen Jongejans,” Mr. Davis says.
“We had five finalists in the 11 categories on offer with the other two being Rock Adventure Cruise, Paihia (Emerging Tourism Leader) and Bay of Islands Destination Marketing Group (Industry Alignment Award) which was very pleasing for the Northland region.
“Winning at the 2015 Tourism Industry Awards further adds to the constantly growing reputation and quality of the Northland tourism industry.
“Northland Inc would like to see even more growth and development in the sector in line with the opportunities and potential benefits which can be gained from new visitor products and supportive infrastructure,” Mr Davis says.
Mr Jongejans is delighted with his success which he says reflects the passion and commitment of he and his team at Dive Tutukaka.
“This award shows how innovative we are with our operation because we are very passionate about ensuring we have, and will leave the environment in the best way possible,” Mr Jongejans says.
“Integrity is what we stand for, and we are very concerned about the levels of overfishing and pollution in our oceans which is why we are doing things that will enable us to reach out wider and bring about an awareness that will help keep our marine environment as healthy as we can.
“Our awards win is a tribute to the Poor Knights, Tutukaka and to Northland as a region.”
The judges said Mr Jongejans runs a high profile, successful Northland business and has been involved in the industry at many levels. He’s been instrumental in enhancing the Poor Knights marine reserve - creating the attraction in which Dive Tutukaka operates and promoting New Zealand internationally as a dive destination.
“A successful business leader, he has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the economic viability of Tutukaka as a tourism destination and is a champion of opportunities that have the potential to create great tourism experiences across Northland,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.
“He has high visibility in Northland as a tourism leader and generously shares his knowledge and energy with the wider tourism industry.”
Bay of Islands Destination Marketing Group’s Charles Parker says although they didn’t win they were still proud to be a finalist which acknowledged the efforts they have been putting into their business.
“The most rewarding result of our efforts has been the increased domestic visitation to the Bay of Islands. We achieved 11% growth in domestic visitors to the Bay of Islands in the year to June 2015 vs national growth in domestic visitor numbers of 4%,” he says.
The awards featured 34 finalists for eight business and two individual categories in the $24 billion industry – which aims to grow to $41 billion by 2025.
The winner of the Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Industry Award Skyline Rotorua, which also won the Business Excellence Award – annual turnover over $6 million, received international air travel to any Air New Zealand destination in North America, South America or Asia valued at up to $10,000 to help them market and grow their tourism business.
2015 Tourism Industry Awards Winners:
Sir Peter Jackson, Wellington
Ziptrek Ecotours, Queenstown
TIME Unlimited Tours, Auckland
For more information on the Tourism Industry Awards, visit www.tourismawards.co.nz