Helloworld Rotorua owner/manager Deborah Kay has scored a win at this year's Travel Agency Association of NZ National Travel Industry Awards, taking out the title of Best Travel Agency Manager - Retail.

"I was blown away to be nominated, let alone become a finalist," she said. "To win it was just phenomenal."

Mrs Kay said the award reflected the strength of her Rotorua team.

"It's as much for them as it is for me. I have a fabulous team who are extremely supportive and focused on our common goal. With the support from suppliers, head office and our extremely loyal clientele, this award recognises our efforts, dedication and passion. My mantra in-store is 'do the basics brilliantly and the rest takes care of itself'."


Ms Kay has been in the Travel Industry in Rotorua for 25 years, commencing with Atlantic & Pacific Travel, rebranding to Holiday Shoppe and Harvey World Travel, and then in February this year rebranding again to helloworld Rotorua.

She has risen through the ranks of office junior to senior consultant to manager, and 18 months ago purchased her local store. Mrs Kay said her helloworld general manager had nominated her in secret and she did not find out until she had made the finals.

"The rebrand to helloworld has been a huge success," she added, and the business had significant brand exposure, coupled with increased buying power and support from suppliers.

The TAANZ awards
• Cover 22 award categories spanning brand, location, individuals and brokers.
• The finals award dinner took place last weekend at the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland.