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Young Tec Excellence Award Winner!

August 25, 2015 Accolades No Comments Email Email

The Tourism Export Council of New Zealand announced Monday 17 August at the national tourism conference awards event held at Larnach Castle Dunedin, the winner of the Young TEC Excellence Award was Loren Heaphy, Tourism & Events Manager for Ngatu Whatua Orakei. Ask about what it means, Loren says

I’m really grateful for the opportunities the Tourism Export Council has given me and very humbled to have won this award. The process of entering the awards is an eye opening and almost uncomfortable process at times, and one which requires some serious self-reflection, not to mention confidence. After my entry in 2014, I made the decision to make the move up to Auckland and pursue a new challenge, and I feel very lucky that the process of applying for the Young TEC Excellence Award has helped me define and shape my career. Untitled

It is an honour and privilege to have received this award and I look forward to heading to the Shanghai office to better understand the China market and its unique challenges and opportunities.

Congratulations also to Collette Leonard from Skycity Grand Hotel and James Yu (Wairkei Resort & Chateau Tongariro), as well as the other entrants – I feel very flattered to be amongst a group of finalists who are such high achievers and who will go very far in the tourism industry. I encourage all of those in Young TEC to put yourselves forward for these awards – there are benefits beyond winning that will help you move forwards in your career and reflect on what you have already achieved.

As the winner she receives a sponsored prize of:
 Two week professional development placement in one of Tourism New Zealand’s international offices
 Return economy flights sponsored by Air New Zealand
 Accommodation at an Accor Hotel Property
 $1,000 spending money from Tourism Export Council for overseas expenses

The award recognises the outstanding efforts and contribution to the development of New Zealand’s tourism industry by a Young TEC member under the age of 36 years and their company is a Tourism Export Council member. Applicants had to, in a written submission outline their key achievements to date, how the achievements contributed to the growth of their company, what their personal professional ambition was and share their vision of the tourism industry in 10-15 years’ time. The written submissions were scored by four judges to select three finalists who then attended an interview with the judges who selected the winner based on their responses to key questions and leadership potential.

President Martin Horgan of the Tourism Export Council and Head Judge enthuses “the judges were impressed with the calibre of the finalists and all three have contributed in meaningful and measureable ways to their businesses. The award and prize is an amazing opportunity for our young people to plan for a long career in tourism and demonstrates the Tourism Export Councils commitment to succession planning and professional development of our future tourism leaders. We are very grateful to our sponsors Air New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand and Accor Hotels who didn’t hesitate when approached to support this award.”


New for this year is a second Young TEC award. After the inaugural Young TEC Excellence Award last year and receiving the applications, it was apparent there was gap between the 25-30 year old Young TECs and their achievements, versus those a little more mature and experienced.

The Young TEC Executive committee requested that a second award for “Rising Star” be introduced. This award is a Untitledface to face presentation to the Executive committee representatives in the form of telling their story of how they entered the industry, why they chose tourism as their career and what are their future aspirations? The winner for 2015 was Shayne Forrest from Hobbiton Movie Set Tours and he shares his thoughts on being a Young TEC member and what winning the award means.

“I am incredibly humbled to have won the inaugural YoungTec Rising Star award. It was an honour to be a finalist with such strong candidates and I would like to congratulate the talented young tourism leaders involved in this award. Being part of Young TEC is broadening my industry knowledge and networks among my peers and I look forward to being more involved with Young TEC. I am extremely grateful for the amazing opportunity I have been given with the Hobbiton Movie Set team and consider myself very lucky to be in a career that I love, selling Hobbiton and our beautiful country to the world.”

The prize is attendance to the Tourism Export Council Conference, Young TEC Summit, participation in the National Development Programme and $500 from the Tourism Export Council for travel expenses. Finalists for the inaugural award were: Nicole Botting (THL Online), Ross Fowler (Stamford Plaza Hotel), Sarah McIwrick (Millbrook Resort) and Shayne Forrest from Hobbiton Movie Set Tours.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says it’s fantastic to see the industry identify and support the people who will shape its future. “Through programmes like Young TEC and these awards, the industry is really embracing the new ideas and fresh perspective that comes from the younger generation of tourism professionals. Acknowledging success and providing ongoing professional development are core parts of Tourism New Zealand’s culture so we are pleased to be able to offer our support to the Young TEC Excellence Award”.

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