A central Mount Maunganui backpackers has taken the title of Best Accommodation in New Zealand at the Australasian Adventure Tourism Awards.
Mount Maunganui's Pacific Coast Lodge & Backpackers were given the award for their work in sustainability, customer experience and community engagement.
Co-owner Sarah Meadows said they were proud of their win and it was all about giving guests the experience of a lifetime when in "our beautiful paradise that we call home."
Meadows, and co-owner and husband Matt Young were once backpackers themselves and had been operating in Mount Maunganui for seven years.
The accommodation offered free job placement, free surfboard hire, and events for guests to get to know one another.
"What Matt and I learned while travelling is that backpackers want to connect and become a part of the community," Meadows said.
"Sustainability is a core element of our business model. Our guests are offered the opportunity to plant a native tree if they stay longer than ninety days."
The team had planted sixteen trees since May 2019 with a goal of at least thirty trees each year.
The business is operated with a minimal carbon footprint and diverts 57 per cent of its annual waste.
Tourism Bay of Plenty Chief Executive Kristin Dunne said the backpackers had worked hard to promote the region in the right way.
Meadows and Young also co-own the Harbourside City Backpackers in Tauranga.
The Adventure Tourism Awards cover thirty-four categories, recognising travel agencies, tour and activity, innovation, cultural tourism, sustainability and accommodation businesses.
More than 350 people travelled to the Gold Coast in Australia to celebrate the 2019 Adventure Tourism Awards.