A homegrown hotel group focused on strong work culture and environmental sustainability has taken top honours at this year’s New Zealand Tourism Awards.
Sudima Hotels was handed the prestigious Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Award and also named winner of the Tourism Talent Employer of Choice Award and the Enviro-Mark Solutions Environmental Award at the Tourism Industry Aotearoa-run awards in Christchurch last week.
The judges said the group was constantly improving, with a broad range of “superb” initiatives that are making a difference to the business, the environment and the wider community.
Sudima is the first hotel group in New Zealand to be awarded a carboNZero certification, but while its environmental efforts are impressive, Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) CEO Chris Roberts says creating a “tremendous” staff culture has been integral to its success.
“The judges described Sudima CEO Sudesh Jhunjhnuwala as a visionary in his people approach which is best summed up as ‘look after your people and they look after your business’. The results are showing in Sudima’s exceptionally strong staff retention rates,” he said.
The awards’ most prestigious individual honour, the Horwath HTL Sir Jack Newman Award, went to Glenys Coughlan, an industry veteran who has held numerous high profile management and board positions with organisations including Air New Zealand, Tourism Central Otago, Te Papa, Dunedin Venues Management, ATEED and and Outward Bound New Zealand.
“Using her well-developed commercial skills and flair for creative thinking, she has led organisation change and industry transformation initiatives at national and regional levels,” said TIA.
In a month of awards ceremonies at home and abroad, SO/ Auckland has won four gongs at the recent global Haute Grandeur Awards in Kuala Lumpur.
The property was judged Best New Hotel in Oceania, Excellence for Best Lifestyle Hotel in Oceania, Best Design Hotel in New Zealand and Best Luxury Boutique Hotel in New Zealand, joining fellow Aucklander the Hotel Grand Windsor in scoring multiple wins in the guest-voted awards.
Chris Roberts said this year’s New Zealand Tourism Awards were extremely competitive, with 110 businesses and individuals entrants whittled down to 37 finalists from around New Zealand.
The 2019 awards were designed to align with the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment, recognising environmentally sustainable and financially successful tourism businesses that embrace kaitiakitanga.
“It’s pleasing to see the focus our business winners are putting on environmental and host community sustainability, as well as financial performance,” said Roberts.
The full list of 2019 New Zealand Tourism Awards winners is:
Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Award
Tourism Talent Employer of Choice Award
Enviro-Mark Solutions Environmental Award
- Sudima Hotels
Horwath HTL Sir Jack Newman Outstanding Industry Leader Award
- Glenys Coughlan
Marsh Tourism Industry Champion Award
- Fergus Brown, Holiday Parks New Zealand
PATA New Zealand Trust Emerging Tourism Leader Award
- Trent Yeo, Ziptrek Ecotours, Queenstown
Auckland Airport Tourism Sustainability Business Excellence Award – more than $6m annual turnover
- Air New Zealand
Tourism Ticker Tourism Sustainability Business Excellence Award – less than $6m annual turnover
- Redwoods Treewalk & Nightlights, Rotorua
Community Engagement Award
- Stray & Kohutapu Lodge, Murupara
Department of Conservation – Conservation Award
- Black Cat Cruises, Akaroa
Westpac Economic Success Award
- Skyline Queenstown
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment Industry Connections Award
- Development West Coast – Tourism
The Great Journeys of New Zealand Industry Enabler Award
- Department of Conservation – 2018-19 ‘Kiwi Way’ summer visitor campaign
He Kai Kei Aku Ringa Māori Tourism Award
- MDA Experiences, Rotorua
Angus & Associates Visitor Experience Award
- Owen River Lodge, Murchison
NZME People’s Choice Award
- Forgotten World Adventures, Taumarunui