Operator of the Year Awards 2017

Each year, the Tourism Export Council presents its “Operator of the Year” Awards to outstanding tourism businesses. These are prestigious and much-sought after awards which recognises excellence in terms of sustainability, business systems and outstanding visitor experiences. The “Operators of the Year” are presented with their awards at the annual Tourism Conference acknowledged by their industry peers.


New Zealand Journeys – “Inbound Operator of the Year 2017″   

Director John Dam says, “This award is an acknowledgement of my belief, during the past 31 years in tourism in New Zealand, that I want to give back to the country that adopted me by providing my modest contribution to the industry.”

Worthy finalists in the same category were APT Group and Pacific Destinations.

Rotorua Canopy Tours – “Operator of the Year 2017”  

Nicki Dent, Sales and Marketing Manager at Rotorua Canopy Tours, comments, “We’re really stoked and it’s a great way to celebrate our fifth anniversary.”

Worthy finalists in the same category were Ngai Tahu Tourism and the nationwide Scenic Hotel Group.

Fiordland Trips & Tramps – ”Small Business Operator of Year 2017” 

Fiordland Trips& Tramps owner Steve Norris comments, “We’re extremely happy for the Fiordland Trips and Tramps to have won.  The award means a lot for us and the whole Fiordland community.”

Worthy finalists in the same category were Ecozip Adventures and Encounter Kaikoura.


The Annual Awards Process

In April of every year, TEC members will be asked to submit applications for those businesses who have gone above and beyond.

All applicants received are judged on their innovation, marketing, business operation, communications, accessibility and industry relationships. The Board assesses those nominated based on a points system to choose three finalists. From here it goes back out to the respective member groups to vote for the winners.

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. 

Click on the below links to view the awards process, dates and profile guidelines for 2018:



Note 1: inbound tour operators nominate allied members for “Operator of the Year” and allied members nominate inbound members for “Inbound Operator of the Year” award.


Note 2: you can either self nominate your own business or any member may nominate a small business for the “Small Business Operator of the Year” award.


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