OGO Rotorua wins tourism operator award

OGO Rotorua has won the Small Business Operator of the Year Award. Photo: OCO Rotorua

OGO Rotorua has been recognised as the best in the business for Small Business Operator of the Year.


The 2019 Tourism Operator Awards are voted by industry peers, and were presented on Wednesday night by Anna Black, General Travel and Chair of TECNZ and Judy Chen, CEO of TECNZ, at the iconic Transitional Church, Christchurch.


”OGO Rotorua is another amazing company that has embraced Manaakitanga and how this can be incorporated with their visitors. Andrew Akers, Owner, and his team can be elated for their contribution to the local community,” says Judy.

From the top of MEGA Track. Photo: Peter Waerea Kingi


OGO Rotorua is owned and operated by the Kiwi inventors of downhill ball rolling and they are proud to share that after ten years they have finally purchased back their original brand and company ZORB.

The team has a true kiwi can do attitude; their owners work onsite, design and build everything by hand, from their OGO factory, track designs, curvy walkways, quirky cubbyholes through to their new TOWGO which “floats” balls back to the top of the hill.


They have committed their team to completing the Manaaki Program which is a Rotorua centric customer service program specific to their destination covering Manaakitanga, Te Reo, Te Arawa history & Rotorua insights. This enables all their crew to interact and engage with their visitors and offering a deeper understanding of what Manaakitanga means to them and their visitors.

 Judy Chen and winners at the 2019 Tourism Operator Awards. Photo: TECNZ


Three of New Zealand’s top tourism operators have been recognised as the best in the business comprising of categories; OGO Rotorua as Small Business Operator of the Year, Pan Pacific Travel for Inbound Operator of the Year, and the Rees Hotel Queenstown for Allied Operator of the Year.


“Congratulations to our 2019 winners” says Judy. “Our annual Operator of the Year Awards celebrate those who are highly engaged with their business partners in the industry and have excelled in areas of innovation, customer service and responsible tourism.”


“Past winners comment on the significance of receiving acknowledgment from their peers within the industry. We are pleased to announce that the winners have a regional spread and are from all corners of New Zealand.”


Inbound Operator of the Year Pan Pacific Travel is a privately owned and operated Australasian Inbound Operator with companies in New Zealand and Australia. For over 35 years, they have been one of New Zealand’s leading inbound operators and destination management companies specialising in FIT, group, event and incentive Travel.


Pan Pacific Travel has made a significant investment in online booking technology to continue its drive for innovation. They address sustainability by encouraging their team to take part in YoungTEC, signing up to the Tourism Sustainability Commitment, and contributing towards the Wingspan Programme supporting the work done around threatened New Zealand falcon.

“Pan Pacific Travel has been a long standing and highly regarded inbound operator in the tourism sector for over 35 years,” says Judy. “As the industry has grown, Pan Pacific Travel has sustained and adapted well with these changes. This is a huge credit to Chris, Matt, Anne and their team.”


Allied Operator of the Year Rees Hotel Queenstown opened in 2009, is independently owned and comprises of 60 hotel rooms, 90 apartments and five Lakeside Residences situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.


The Rees Hotel Queenstown has created an incredibly high value export led business built on valuing people, caring for the environment and embracing the culture of Aotearoa; a ‘NZ Inc’ brand experience. They are highly responsive and sensitive to the cultural needs of all its guests; examples of TIAKI initiatives include offering Islamic prayer mats, culturally diverse breakfast and Halal food items through to honouring Aotearoa’s bi-cultural history through Te Reo Maori being spoken and signposted at the property.


“The Rees Hotel Queenstown is an extraordinary exemplar that has embraced the TIAKI pillars of manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, tiaki and whanau,” says Judy. “Chief Executive Mark Rose can justifiably be proud of the unique and luxurious offering to New Zealanders and international guests.”

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