Visit Ruapehu wins Supreme Tourism Award


2019-09-26T14:52:00 Pacific/Auckland

Thu 26 Sept 19

Visit Ruapehu has won the Supreme Award at the Regional Tourism NZ Awards for their collaborative approach to tourism in the Manawatu-Whanganui Region.

The Regional Tourism New Zealand Awards celebrate the success of regional tourism organisations throughout the country and recognise their work within the tourism industry.

The Supreme Award recognises the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) that achieved the most significant results in the last 12 months with Regional Tourism NZ saying that Visit Ruapehu was the clear winner.

Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said the Supreme Award was much deserved recognition for a lot of hard work by Visit Ruapehu General Manager Jo Kennedy and her team as well as the her predecessor Claire McKnight.

“Thanks also needs to go to Ruapehu elected members and ratepayers for their funding support of Visit Ruapehu and Council staff notably Chief Executive Clive Manley and Economic Development Manager Warren Furner for their invaluable contribution,” said Mayor Cameron.

“While the Supreme Award reflects the significant results achieved by Visit Ruapehu over the previous year getting to this point has been a much longer journey that started with the release of the Manawatu-Whanganui Growth Study in 2015 that identified tourism as a major regional opportunity.

“Ruapehu’s comparative advantages in tourism and visitor services saw us appointed as the lead agency for unlocking regional tourism opportunities as part of a Manawatu-Whanganui growth programme called Accelerate25.

Visit Ruapehu was charged with establishing a Tourism Project Group to identify opportunities where they could partner with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and NZ Trade and Enterprise.

From this earliest point four years ago it was recognised that if we were to unlock the tourism opportunities before us and respond to the pressures from the sector’s growth it was critical for all stakeholders to work together for the benefit of everyone.

This has seen Visit Ruapehu working with like-minded local, regional, national and government partners such as Tourism NZ, DOC, Iwi, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL), Taupo and Rotoura Councils, Auckland International Airport, Air NZ, Kiwi Rail and others to promote the Ruapehu region.

The importance of having a cooperative strategy and everyone working together cannot be overstated.

This has been key to Ruapehu gaining millions in government funding toward key infrastructure projects and the development of new attractions such as the Sky Waka gondola at Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu.

Council and Visit Ruapehu are committed to maintaining the momentum and the positive impact our visitor economy is having on the growth of jobs, incomes and investment and opportunities in Ruapehu and the Region.

Key to this is the need to continue our work on building meaningful partnerships and ensuring that tourism growth is productive, sustainable and inclusive and is contributing toward improving the well-being of all New Zealanders,” he said.



Visit Ruapehu wins Supreme Award at Regional Tourism New Zealand Awards

Visit Ruapehu has won the Supreme Award at this years Regional Tourism New Zealand Awards.

The award recognises the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) that achieved the most significant results in the last 12 months. Visit Ruapehu was the clear winner for their collaborative approach to tourism in their region.

“Visit Ruapehu has shown how a small, tourism rich region punches above its weight. With limited resources they recognised that engaging meaningfully with their stakeholders, communities, and local and central government partners was essential to ensure sustainable sector growth and improve the visitor experience” says Regional Tourism New Zealand Executive Officer Charlie Ives.

“The Ruapehu Regional Visitor Development Plan is an example of this co-operation, being jointly developed with DOC and MBIE on the Tongariro National Park Spatial Plan, Visit Ruapehu on marketing campaigns, sector performance and new operating model, and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts” he says

Council support of tourism provides a pathway for many to enter the workforce and gain important skills, and supports the objective of growing jobs, incomes and opportunities for Ruapehu communities. Both Visit Ruapehu and Council have been working closely with central government and neighbouring regions which has been central to unlocking opportunities and responding to the pressures from the sector’s growth.

“Visit Ruapehu has demonstrated how a collaborative approach to planning, developing, managing and marketing a region within a system-based framework provides returns well beyond the investment.” says Mr Ives.


The Visit Ruapehu (VR) team with Ruapehu District Council (RDC) Economic Development Manager Warren Furner and Regional Tourism NZ Executive Officer (RTNZ) Charlie Ives and their RTNZ Supreme Award for their collaborative approach to regional tourism development.

Page reviewed: 26 Sep 2019 2:52pm