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14 June 21: New Zealand Tourism Awards return for 2021

Entries are open for the New Zealand Tourism Awards, returning for 2021 to showcase and celebrate the tourism industry’s individual and business successes.

After a 2020 hiatus due to the pandemic, a revised awards programme will see three individual high performers and up to eight businesses crowned as the very best in the industry.  
Winners will be announced at a special awards dinner on 1 September in Hamilton following Tourism Summit Aotearoa, keeping attendees’ costs down by combining these two unmissable events on the tourism calendar. Both events are organised by Tourism Industry Aotearoa.   

TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says the decision to hold the awards in 2021 came from the tourism operators themselves.   

“While a full awards ceremony didn’t feel appropriate this time last year, our members have told us a return to the annual celebration in some form would be welcome. We’ve combined some of the previous categories, further simplified the entry process and won’t be selecting a Supreme Award winner this year. 

“We know tourism businesses and individuals are keen to show how they’ve adapted and innovated over the past year, with the awards dinner bringing a sense of prestige and celebration back to the industry.”  

Mr Roberts says TIA is excited to bring Tourism Summit Aotearoa and the New Zealand Tourism Awards to Hamilton. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the Mighty Waikato as we unpack the strategic direction of the industry during the day and celebrate tourism’s champions in the evening.”    

The three awards for individuals are open to outstanding performers in the industry, and eight awards will recognise business excellence, industry alignment and organisations that are living the values of the Tourism Sustainability Commitment.  

Hamilton & Waikato Chief Executive Jason Dawson says he is “thrilled and excited” to be hosting these key tourism events in the Mighty Waikato. 

“Given the significant challenges our industry and businesses have tackled over the past 12 months, the New Zealand Tourism Awards are a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge, learn, reflect and celebrate our achievements together,” he said. 

“This year has shown New Zealand and our communities the innovation and adaptability of our industry. We look forward to rolling out the welcome mat and putting on a great event!”  

The New Zealand Tourism Awards are open to both members and non-members of TIA. Tickets to the New Zealand Tourism Awards dinner will be available to purchase soon. 

Awards are open in the following categories and will close at 5pm on 1 July. 

  • Resilience and Innovation Award 
    The Resilience and Innovation Award recognises a business that exemplifies operational business excellence alongside innovative and creative problem-solving. 
  • Community Engagement Award 
    The Community Engagement Award recognises a business that is a leader in engaging and supporting vibrant communities. 
  • Employer of Choice Award 
    The Employer of Choice Award recognises a business that has risen to workforce challenges, maintaining a positive and high performing workplace, with industry leading practices and innovations to retain and recruit staff.
    Sponsored by Tourism Talent
  • Conservation Award
    The Conservation Award recognises a tourism business that embraces kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and protection of our natural, built and cultural resources for the benefit of current and future generations.
    Sponsored by Department of Conservation 
  • Environment Award
    The Environment Award recognises a tourism business that actively supports and champions environmental initiatives that reduce carbon emissions, minimise waste, and generally contribute to enhancing New Zealand’s environment.
    Sponsored by Toitū Envirocare 
  • Industry Collaboration Award
    The Industry Collaboration Award recognises a Regional Tourism Organisation, Economic Development Agency, central or local government agency, research organisation, education provider, sector association, industry business, or group of two or more businesses that have aligned/partnered to successfully maximise their tourism industry impact and results. 
  • He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Māori Tourism Award
    The Māori Tourism Award recognises a commercial tourism business that is delivering an authentic Māori tourism visitor experience or product, incorporating the tikanga Māori values embedded in the Tourism Sustainability Commitment of manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga and whanaungatanga into its business and its visitor offering, and demonstrating rangatiratanga within the tourism industry.
    Sponsored by NZ Māori Tourism 
  • Visitor Experience Award
    The Visitor Experience Award recognises a tourism business that is meeting and exceeding the expectations of visitors. 

The following categories are open to individuals:  

  • Tourism Champion Award 
    The Tourism Champion Award recognises an outstanding tourism professional who has been in the tourism industry for more than 10 years.
    Sponsored by Marsh
  • Emerging Tourism Leader Award 
    The Emerging Tourism Leader Award recognises an outstanding tourism professional who has been in the tourism industry for less than 10 years.
    Sponsored by PATA New Zealand Trust  

The Sir Jack Newman Award for Outstanding Industry Leader will also be presented on the night.