Entries have opened for the expanded New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards, with new categories recognising the key roles that go into running a great hotel, from the concierge to the general manager.

The new-look awards programme has been scaled up from just three awards to eight individual awards plus an award for a hotel showing real innovation to help neutralise its impact on the environment.

“These are the New Zealand hotel sector’s premier awards. They send a clear signal to smart young New Zealanders that the hotel sector offers many diverse jobs and an exciting career path,” said Sally Attfield, hotel sector manager of the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA), which co-hosts the awards with Horwath HTL.

“This is vital given the additional staff who are going to be needed to support the hotel sector’s growth as international visitor arrivals to New Zealand accelerate.”

TIA’s 140 hotel members collectively employ 10,500 staff nationally, and generate annual revenues in excess of $1 billion.

Stephen Hamilton, director, Horwath HTL, said New Zealand’s hotel sector is enjoying record results and much of that is down to individuals who go the extra mile to deliver an outstanding guest experience which in turn grows profitability.

“These awards celebrate excellence and showcase a sector that is a vital contributor to the wider tourism industry, now the country’s number one export earner with ambitious growth goals to grow annual turnover from the current $30 billion to $41 billion by 2025.

“We are expecting a high number of entries in the awards, given the upbeat mood of many hotels around the country following a fantastic year of business.”

Award categories include Senior Hotel Executive, sponsored by AHS Hospitality, Outstanding Young Hotel Executive, sponsored by ServiceIQ, Administration Employee of the Year, Concierge of the Year, Front Office Services Employee of the Year, Housekeeper Employee of the Year, Revenue Manager of the Year, Sales & Marketing Employee of the Year, and Environmental Initiative of the Year.

The New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards winners will be announced at a gala dinner at The Langham, Auckland on 2 June, and is the culmination of the 2016 New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference.