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Top tour operators recognised by industry

August 24, 2015 Accolades No Comments Print Print Email Email

Three of New Zealand’s top operators have been recognised as the best in the business by their industry peers at an awards dinner held at the Larnach Castle Dunedin at the annual Tourism Conference Monday 17 August. Pan Pacific Travel was named Inbound Tour Operator of the Year, while Queenstown operators in a historical first, Real Journeys & Southern Discoveries jointly received the Operator of the Year Award 2015, demonstrating the calibre of the products and their relationships across inbound members.


Pan Pacific Travel – “Inbound Tour Operator of the Year” 2015

This year allied members of the Tourism Export Council have voted Pan Pacific Travel their number one inbound tour operator. Pan Pacific Travel Group Chairman, Chris Ireland, said that “we traditionally tend to just quietly get on with things and we were very pleasantly surprised to find that we’d been nominated by several Allied Members again this year. We were the inaugural winners’ of this Award in 2010 and have felt these awards have had a positive impact in our relatively niche sector of the industry”.

We have always enjoyed a great relationship with our supplier partners– and do consider this a partnership – that is vitally important to how we do business. Frankly, recognition by our peers is far more meaningful to us than a committee of third party organizations that we may have no interaction with at all. The whole team at Pan Pacific were delighted to hear of the nomination and making the final three… not to mention having a great deal of fun making the video” He regretted he couldn’t be at Dunedin to join with the many Allied Members to celebrate the award however suggested that Matt (Brady) and John (Gregory) would be on hand “to show our 2 appreciation” in the normal fashion. Other finalists in the Inbound Operator of the Year awards were General Travel and Southern World.

Real Journeys & Southern Discoveries – “Operator of the Year” 2015


The Real Journeys team is extremely proud to be the recipient of the “Operator of the Year 2015” as voted by our Inbound Tour Operator business partners.

Ryan Ingram, Real Journeys Director of Sales, says the whole team, from sales through to operations, can take credit for this award. “We are so appreciative of such a vote of confidence, especially after what has been one of the busiest seasons in recent history. We are very lucky to have a fantastic team working to deliver remarkable experiences who strive to continually do it better. Winning this award recognises and endorses those efforts. Thank you to our inbound tour operator partners for your great support.”

Sales & Marketing Manager Julia Savill says “Southern Discoveries is delighted to receive the TECNZ Operator of the Year for 2015. To be awarded this by our valued clients is the ultimate endorsement, and we are humbled and honoured by their nomination. We’re going through exciting changes to our product offerings, and this award tells us that the changes we are making are positive. It also ensures we will keep on this path so that we continue to deliver the best experience for our customers. We also offer our congratulations to other finalists in the Operator of the Year category Real Journeys and the Avis Budget Group.

Tourism Export Council CEO Lesley Immink says each year the awards are hotly contested as being voted among your peers as being the best in the business for ‘doing good business’ is a great accolade that filters down to all levels of the operator teams. Inbound tour operators nominate allied supplier members and allied members nominate inbound tour operators. The applicants are judged on their innovation, marketing, business operation, communications, accessibility and industry relationships.

The Board then assesses those nominated based on a points system to choose three finalists and it goes back out to the respective member groups to vote for the winners. The awards were presented by Chris Flynn PATA, David Clendon Green Party Tourism Spokesperson and Peeni Henare, Labour Party Tourism Spokesperson.


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