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Waitangi Treaty Grounds make history by winning major tourism award


The Waitangi Treaty Grounds won the prestigious ServiceIQ Visitor Experience Award at the 2017 New Zealand Tourism Awards held in Christchurch last night.

ServiceIQ CEO Dean Minchington says the award is an “endorsement of a fantastic and inspiring business that has a very clear vision of what it wants to achieve and has executed it brilliantly for the enjoyment of visitors from around the country and overseas.

“We are also extremely proud our award has been given to such a special and culturally significant place for Kiwis. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are arguably New Zealand’s most important historical site, the very birthplace of our country.”

Northland’s historical Waitangi Treaty Grounds has transformed itself over the past four years. At the heart of the transformation was the building of the $14 million award-winning Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi.

An all-inclusive day pass including entry to the new museum, all historic buildings, guided tours and cultural performances saw revenue increase by 54%, visitor numbers grow by 8% and visitor satisfaction at an all-time high.

Dean Minchington says rapid growth in New Zealand’s tourism industry presents big challenges, not least, developing the skills and careers for the right people who are vital for business success.

“The job of resourcing for growth is not just about attracting new people to the sector. It’s equally important to develop and retain the great people businesses already have – upskilling them and giving opportunities to those who are part way through their career.”

ServiceIQ, as the official Industry Training Organisation for tourism, plays an important role in helping to drive-up the quality and professionalism that is essential to the industry’s reputation and ongoing success.

Dean Hongi Waitangi TIA circleWaitangi Treaty Grounds Cultural Manager Mori Rapana accepts the ServiceIQ Visitor Experience Award from ServiceIQ Chief Executive Dean Minchington, at the 2017 New Zealand Tourism Awards in Christchurch.

“Our experts set the industry standards and create the on-job training programmes and resources, but the real proof of our work can be seen in the outstanding, award-winning businesses and leading brands that we work with. These include some of the world’s best known attractions such as HobbitonTM Movie Set Tours, Skyline Enterprises and Ngāi Tahu Tourism Ltd’s Agrodome, to name just a few,” says Dean.

“We are excited that more and more tourism operators are choosing to prepare for the future and develop their capability simply by upskilling talented staff in our Tourism Visitor Experience, Hospitality, Retail and Management programmes.”