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Surprise Award recognises 10 years of exceptional service to holiday parks

July 8, 2013 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Holiday Accommodation Parks Association of NZ (HAPNZ) Chief Executive Fergus Brown was overwhelmed last evening when he was awarded the sector’s highest award for ten years of exceptional service.

In a closely guarded secret, the TOP 10 Outstanding Service to the Holiday Park Industry Award was presented to Mr Brown at an awards dinner in Masterton last night (4 July), part of the 2013 Holiday Parks Conference.

HAPNZ President Richard Gunson says it was very difficult keep the award a surprise from Mr Brown, as he organised the conference.

Fergus Brown

Fergus Brown

He says in the ten years since Mr Brown took on the top job in 2003, the holiday parks sector has taken a huge leap forward.

“His advocacy, political contacts and energy has moved us from a place where we were standing still to a sector that is now involved in a multitude of exciting and innovative projects to improve business performance.”

Recent initiatives include a Business Confidence Monitor to regularly assess the mood of HAPNZ’s 300 members and measure trends, a video that invites Chinese travellers to stay at holiday parks, and research which shows holiday park visitors contribute up to $733 million annually to the New Zealand economy.

Mr Gunson also points to Mr Brown’s doggedness when he started in the role, which saw holiday park operators move from paper-based systems into technology and real-time bookings – something today’s Kiwi and international travellers expect.

“This award is also in recognition of Fergus’ leadership style. Both the people we deal with outside our sector and new HAPNZ members are amazed at how collaborative the holiday park sector is – there is real unity.”

Tourism Industry Association NZ (TIA) Advocacy Manager Geoff Ensor agrees.

“Through Fergus’ actions, his values and his loyalty to his members, he has built a sector which operates like a family – it is unique within the tourism industry.”

He says Mr Brown, who is also a TIA Board Director, is the consummate tourism professional who over a long period has earned enormous respect from the wider tourism industry.

“Nothing exemplifies Fergus’ values more than his efforts to support members during the Christchurch earthquake. He is a tourism giant and TIA salutes the contribution he has made to the holiday parks sector and New Zealand’s wider tourism industry.”

Other awards presented included:

AA Spirit of Hospitality Award

Winner: Himatangi Beach Holiday Park

Owners Margaret and Dennis Penney received the award for the strong bonds they formed with their guests which resulted in a large volume of top scoring ratings in the online Been There Traveller reviews on the AA’s website.

TIA Innovation Award

Winner: Coromandel TOP 10 Holiday Park

This holiday park developed secure separate catering, dining and shower blocks to cater for large school groups. Innovations included building eight, three-tier bunks, which the kids love.

TIA Community Service Award

Winner: Papamoa Beach TOP 10

As part of a “Boys Education Class”, this holiday park spends up to two hours every week with boys who are being left behind at school, teaching them everything from how to mow lawns, painting and cooking to changing a car tyre, fire safety and dune planting.

Seekom Innovation in Online Marketing Award

Winner: Mercury Bay Holiday Park

This holiday park has shown innovation through “creative room management”, marketing two bedroom units four different ways, simply by putting a deadlock on one of the bedroom doors and including or removing consumables and servicing options. This offers visitors more budget options. 

Jasons Smart Business Award

Winner: Athenree Hot Springs, Waihi Beach

This park is working smarter. It has introduced a comprehensive recycling programme which is saving it money and strengthening its brand. 

Qualmark and Tourism Holdings Ltd – Qualmark accreditation

For the first time ever, five New Zealand holiday parks were awarded a complimentary Qualmark accreditation by Tourism Holdings Limited (thl) and Qualmark.

The following five holiday parks were selected to undergo a complimentary Qualmark quality evaluation and annual licence to recognise their commitment to providing high quality visitor experiences:

Ashley Gorge Holiday Park, Ashley Gorge, Canterbury

Glentunnel Holiday Park, Glentunnel, Canterbury

Mawley Holiday Park, Masterton

Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park, Ruakaka

Whananaki Holiday Park, Whananaki

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