The finalists in the 2019 New Zealand Tourism Awards are shining examples of the efforts our tourism industry is making to become more sustainable – economically, environmentally, in our host communities and towards our visitors. Run by Tourism Industry Aotearoa, these prestigious awards celebrate the $39 billion tourism industry's success, and recognise the individuals and businesses doing an outstanding job, generating economic wealth and supporting jobs in communities throughout the country. 38 finalists have been named. The winners will be announced on 24 October 2019.

Vote for your favourite and win an Air New Zealand Two Night Great Mystery Break for Two (details below)


Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand operates a global network that provides passenger and cargo services to, from and within New Zealand to approximately 17 million passengers a year. The airline's purpose is to supercharge New Zealand's success socially, environmentally and economically to ensure a strong, vibrant business into the future.


AJ Hackett Bungy NZ
Since 1988, we've been in the business of fuelling people with courage and adrenaline. AJ Hackett Bungy NZ is synonymous with innovation, at the cutting edge of adventure tourism and the world industry leader in gravity related challenges.

Auckland Airport
Auckland Airport is proud to be an economic engine for New Zealand, helping to grow our country's success in travel, trade and tourism. Over the next 10 years, we are delivering a multi-billion-dollar investment programme that will transform the visitor experience.

Auckland War Memorial Museum
Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum is New Zealand's largest museum, caring for more than 4.5 million taonga. We share the stories of Auckland and Aotearoa with New Zealanders and the world.

Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari
With Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari, visitors experience the incredible wildlife of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and are inspired to protect it. We educate and inspire our guests on how they can directly contribute towards environmental conservation.

Auckland Zoo – Te Whare Kararehe o Tamaki Makaurau
Auckland Zoo is an active conservation organisation that has welcomed over 28 million visitors. We foster discovery of the natural world, inspire action for wildlife and create hope for its future.

Black Cat Cruises
Eco-tourism pioneer Black Cat Cruises offers world-class visitor experiences, including our signature Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruises and Swimming with Dolphins tours. We strive to be a leader in environment management programmes.

CamperMate is an innovative smartphone application that has been downloaded by more than 1.3 million travellers. CamperMate provides timely and accurate location-based information to more than 50,000 travellers each day in peak periods. It also collects GPS data on their movements to assist local authorities with infrastructure planning.

Coastal Pacific, The Great Journeys of New Zealand
The Great Journeys of New Zealand is the tourism brand for KiwiRail that unites three iconic train journeys – Coastal Pacific, Northern Explorer and TranzAlpine - plus our Interislander Cook Strait ferry. Today, visitors are exploring Kaikōura, Blenheim, Picton and beyond, due to the re-establishment of the Coastal Pacific train journey in November 2018 following the devastating Kaikōura earthquakes in November 2016.


Department of Conservation
The Department of Conservation (DOC) is the government agency responsible for managing New Zealand's natural and historic heritage. Many of New Zealand's most popular visitor attractions are on public conservation land and approximately 1110 tourism businesses operate there. DOC therefore has a crucial role in supporting New Zealand's tourism industry to develop sustainably and operate in a way that limits the impact on, or even brings benefit to, the environment.

Development West Coast – Tourism
Development West Coast is a Charitable Trust aiming to promote sustainable employment opportunities and generate sustainable economic benefits for the West Coast, both now and into the future. We work closely with eight regional promotions groups, the Department of Conservation, KiwiRail, Christchurch Airport and 229 tourism businesses from Karamea in the north to Haast in the south.

Forgotten World Adventures
Forgotten World Adventures is a unique tourism operator in Taumarunui, Ruapehu offering guided tours ranging from three hours to two days. Since 2011, FWA has brought visitors to a regional area not previously thought of as a tourism destination.

GCH Aviation
GCH Aviation is Christchurch's only helicopter provider combining a tourism business, flight school and helicopter rescue service for Canterbury, West Coast and Nelson. Our tourism operations reach from the middle of the South Island to the middle of the North Island.

GO Rentals
Kiwi owned and operated, GO Rentals has grown to become a major player in the domestic car rental market. We continue to reinvent the rental car process. We've harnessed the latest technology and driven customer insights through powerful research to develop a truly customer-centric business strategy.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) & Tomahawk
Go with Tourism is an initiative spearheaded by ATEED and brought to life by digital marketing agency Tomahawk. Go with Tourism is a game-changing approach to job search and recruitment, throwing traditional methods out the window.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism
Hamilton & Waikato Tourism is a Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) whose role is to generate competitive economic benefit through strategies focused on increasing visitor length of stay and spend. Our goal is to sustainably super-charge the regional visitor economy. We deliver destination marketing and development services across Waikato.

INFLITE is a leading aviation tourism operator with a fleet of over 15 aircraft and a range of spectacular experiences. INFLITE provides luxury air travel solutions and lodge transfers through its Charter division.

Kaitiaki Adventures
Kaitiaki Adventures is a globally recognised adventure tourism company with a uniquely Aotearoa product. Kaitiaki Adventures specialises in culturally infused white-water rafting, white-water sledging and hiking excursions exposing the Okere/Kaituna Awa and Te Maunga O Tarawera. Tikanga Māori is infused into each excursion.

Kiwi Experience
Kiwi Experience is New Zealand's original guided bus tour network. For the past 30 years, we've been providing a trip of a lifetime for like-minded travellers from around the world. With local guides who know the country and culture like the back of their hand, our bus adventures are simply the best way to experience New Zealand.

Mad Campers
Mad Campers provides the most innovative and comfortable economy campers in New Zealand. We are MAD about New Zealand and passionate about helping our travellers have an epic Kiwi adventure! Innovation and traveller experience is at the core of everything we do - leading us to deliver exciting new products and initiatives to the industry.

MDA Experiences
MDA Experiences is an industry leader for cultural, luxury and adventure tourism. Our strong focus on Māori culture, coupled with awe-inspiring landscapes topped off with the ability to create adventures that suit anyone's age, ability and interests, has seen MDA Experiences grow into the preferred choice for those seeking bespoke and genuine experiences.

Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony
The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony provides visitors with an opportunity to see little penguins in their natural environment. OBPC combines tourism operations with a strong research and conservation focus.

Owen River Lodge
Award-winning Owen River Lodge is a boutique, luxury fly-fishing lodge near the rural South Island town of Murchison. It is recognised by guests, industry reviewers and accreditation agencies alike as an outstanding provider of an authentic, New Zealand luxury visitor experience.

Redwoods Treewalk & Nightlights
A Rotorua must-do, the Redwoods Treewalk features a suspended 40-minute ecological bridge walk, providing a unique bird's-eye perspective of the forest. The walk highlights the history of this iconic forest area, the giant Californian Redwood, the people (iwi) and the land (whenua). The Redwoods Nightlights offer a magical night experience featuring lanterns from New Zealand design and sustainability champion David Trubridge.

SkyCity Entertainment Group
SkyCity is New Zealand's largest tourism, leisure and entertainment company. We operate integrated entertainment complexes in Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown, as well as Adelaide, Australia. We employ over 6000 people representing over 70 cultures. We work hard to ensure our team reflects the communities within which we operate.

Skyline Queenstown
Skyline Queenstown is New Zealand's most popular ticketed attraction with nearly 20 million visitors since our humble beginnings in 1967. Accessed by scenic gondola, Skyline Queenstown offers unforgettable fun for all ages – be it luging, mountain biking, or experiencing the best of local and international cuisine high amongst some of the world's greatest scenery.

Southern Discoveries
Southern Discoveries is a premium tourism company dedicated to sharing some of New Zealand's most iconic scenery and extraordinary experiences with the world. It offers cruise excursions in Milford Sound and Queenstown, and seamless coach and flight connections between the two destinations.

Stray & Kohutapu Lodge
Since November 2013, Stray has been taking travellers to Kohutapu Lodge on the outskirts of Murupara to participate in a unique cultural programme. Murupara is an unlikely tourist destination, however, this venture sees tourism play a valued role in revitalising the town while also providing an authentic insight into modern day Māori culture for international visitors.

Sudima Hotels
Sudima Hotels' mission is to deliver the most accessible and environmentally friendly hotels in Australasia. We actively reduce our environmental footprint and ensure we are inclusive and welcoming of all guests and staff, whatever their background or needs.

Wharewaka o Pōneke Enterprises Ltd
Wharewaka o Pōneke Enterprises Limited is the leading Māori tourism provider in the Wellington region, offering waka and walking tours, cultural engagement services, and the Wharewaka Functions and Karaka Café.

YHA New Zealand
YHA New Zealand is Aotearoa's largest hostel network. We believe in the power of travel to change lives through connection with people, culture and the land. We're really proud to make these experiences accessible to a wide range of people as a safe, sustainably-minded budget travel brand.

Vote for your favourite and win an Air New Zealand Two Night Great Mystery Break for Two

Explore a great New Zealand destination with a Mystery Break

Take an Air New Zealand Mystery Break™ and who knows where you'll end up. It could be any one of the popular destinations on the Air New Zealand domestic network. The mystery won't be revealed until the day prior to travel!

You'll fly Air New Zealand to your mystery destination, pick up your transfer, then check in to your accommodation. Then it's up to you. Go exploring, or just kick back and relax.

The Great Mystery Break Package includes:

  • Return airfares to a New Zealand mystery destination
  • Two nights twin share accommodation
  • Transfer to & from airport to destination

Mystery Break Vouchers are valid for twelve months from date of issue.

Individual finalists

Listed, but not open to voting for People's Choice Award

John Barrett, Kapiti Island Nature Tours
John's career began as a travel cadet working for Thomas Cook Wellington. His love of New Zealand eventually saw him build a family business on Kapiti Island, highlighting its unique conservation, cultural and tourism potential. John is Managing Director/Founder of Kapiti Island Nature Tours and Nature Lodge. He has also been active on local and national tourism and Māori Boards.

Fergus Brown, Holiday Parks New Zealand
In his 44 years in tourism, Fergus has held a range of leadership roles. During his time in Asia with Tourism New Zealand, he developed and implemented the first Asian strategy, targeting the developing markets of China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South East Asia. Now Chief Executive of Holiday Parks New Zealand, he has developed and implemented strategies that have added value to members, local communities and the wider tourism industry. He has served as Board member of Tourism Industry Aotearoa for over 10 years and chairs ServiceIQ's Hospitality Industry Advisory Group.

Jason Dawson, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism
Jason has been Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism (HWT) for three years. His previous experience within the tourism sector was the group level management of the Hamilton i-SITE visitor centre for 3.5 years and through supporting his parents with their paua souvenir business in Northland. During his time at HWT, the region's visitor economy has grown significantly in both leisure and business travel.

Lisa Li, China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd
General Manager of China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd, Lisa Li is an energetic and effective advocate for the New Zealand and Chinese tourism and business sectors. Her team has grown to 65 staff over the past 18 years. Lisa works closely with the Māori tourism sector, and has helped develop their positioning in the important China market. She works actively with New Zealand organisations to better understand the China visitor market and to leverage opportunities to attract more, longer staying and higher yielding visitors.

Adrian Thompson, GO Rentals
Adrian's tourism career has been led by a passion for people, both customers and staff, and facilitating their success. After emigrating from the UK with a hospitality background in 2014, he is now the National Operations Manager, managing 125 staff at GO Rentals. Working to provide his customers with the best and most innovative experience possible is his privilege.

Trent Yeo, Ziptrek Ecotours
Trent has moved from architecture to guiding, outdoor education to tourism. After studying and working in architecture, he realised that he didn't need to build anything; getting people to spend time in the outdoors was inspiration enough to build a better world. Ziptrek Ecotours is now woven into the deep tourism heritage of Queenstown. Tens of thousands of people each year now hear a story of humans linked to our natural world.

TIA thanks key New Zealand Tourism Awards 2019 Partners & Supporters:

Award Partners:

Air New Zealand, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Award Supporters:
Angus & Associates, Auckland Airport, Department of Conservation, Enviro-Mark Solutions, The Great Journeys of New Zealand, He Kai Kei Aku Ringa, Horwath HTL, Marsh, PATA New Zealand Trust, Tourism Talent, Tourism Ticker, Westpac

Event Partners
Vbase, NZME, ChristchurchNZ, Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust, Hamish Fletcher Lawyers, Pacific Tourways, Christchurch Casino, Monteith's, NZ Māori Tourism