The annual New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference closed off with the 2018 New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards.
The awards which celebrate hosts providing outstanding visitor experiences and benchmark setters in the industry didn’t just go to nominees from major cities this year. Multiple candidates from often overlooked regional areas like Franz Josef picked up awards.
Highlighting the regions was a trend of the awards, with the introduction of the ‘Regional Hotel Employee of the Year’ award which recognises the best employee working in a hotel not located in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Queenstown.
The inaugural award went to Rohan Thakur, who works as the front office manager of Te Waonui Forest Retreat in Franz Josef.
“It’s often difficult to work in a remote region, but Rohan is surviving and thriving in that environment. He is knowledgeable about the product, customer-focused, flexible, and calm under pressure. He’s a great leader and is always looking for ways to develop and motivate his team,” Sally Atfield, hotel sector manager at TIA said.
Fellow Te Waonui Forest Retreat employee Richard Bungeroth also picked up the award for Hotel Industry General Manager of the Year. Neighbouring Mick Yuan from Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier also won on the day, named Hotel Industry Food and Beverage Employee of the Year.
The biggest prize of the night, the Hotel Industry Achievement Award, also went to a hotelier who built her name in the regions.
Kathy Guy, group general manager of the Chateau Tongariro Hotel and the Wairakei Resort Taupo, and director of scenic flight operator Mountain Air, won the award.
”Starting out as a waitress, a job that fitted around her young family, Kathy worked her way up to management level. In addition to overseeing the restoration of the iconic Chateau Tongariro Hotel, she has been active in both the regional and national tourism industry, representing her region on a number of boards and setting up the Ruapehu Marketing Group,” Ms Attfield said.
The full list of winners at the New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards:
Hotel Industry Achievement Award
· Kathy Guy, Group General Manager of the Chateau Tongariro Hotel and the Wairakei Resort Taupō
Hotel Industry General Manager of the Year, sponsored by AHS Hospitality
· Richard Bungeroth, General Manager, Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier
Hotel Industry Senior Hotel Executive of the Year, sponsored by NZ Sotheby’s International Realty
· Les Morgan, Director of Hotels, Sudima Hotels & Resorts
Hotel Industry Outstanding Young Hotel Executive of the Year
· Danielle Davies, Business Development Manager – International, SKYCITY Hotel and SKYCITY Grand Hotel, Auckland
Hotel Industry Administration Employee of the Year
· Eugenia Marquez, Marketing Executive, Cordis Hotel, Auckland
Hotel Industry Concierge of the Year
· Ingmar Becker, Chief Concierge, Bolton Hotel, Wellington
Hotel Industry Environmental Initiative of the Year, sponsored by SKAL
· Sudima Auckland Airport
Hotel Industry Food and Beverage Employee of the Year, sponsored by ServiceIQ
· Mick Yuan, Restaurant and Bar Manager, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Hotel Industry Front Office Services Employee of the Year, sponsored by the New Zealand School of Tourism
· Neil Hemraj, Front Office Manager, CityLife Hotel Auckland
Hotel Industry Housekeeper Employee of the Year, sponsored by Vendella
· Annalise Stewart, Executive Housekeeper, InterContinental Hotel Wellington
Hotel Industry Regional Hotel Employee of the Year
· Rohan Thakur, Front Office Manager, Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier
Hotel Industry Revenue Manager of the Year, sponsored by ARMA
· Roma Patel, National Reservations & and Yield Manager, Sudima Hotels & Resorts
Hotel Industry Sales, Marketing & Distribution Employee of the Year, sponsored by Fastrack Group
· Leigh Higgins, Director of Sales – Corporate and MICE, Sudima Hotels & Resorts