Photo: Amanda Wignell

The finalists in the New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards have been revealed and five regions dominate the line-up – Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. 33 finalists will compete for New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards 2017 across ten individual categories, from the Housekeeper Employee of the Year to the Sales & Marketing Executive, 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 and they recognise the many key roles that are vital to operating a successful hotel,” said Sally Attfield, Hotel Sector Manager, Tourism Industry Aotearoa which co-hosts the Awards with Horwath HTL.

Two new awards were introduced this year, recognising the sector’s outstanding hotel general manager, and the food & beverage employee of the year. Attfield said these are both vital roles.

“General Managers are usually the public face of a hotel and are responsible for managing everything from changing consumer expectations to cyber-crime, while food and beverage is an increasingly important part of a hotel’s offering, with great staff key to success.”

Stephen Hamilton, Director, Horwath HTL, said hotels are a very valuable part of New Zealand’s $35 billion tourism industry, with more visitors staying in hotels than any other type of accommodation.

“Hotels support thousands of jobs and inject millions of dollars into regions across the country. They are also excellent corporate citizens, giving back to their local communities in numerous ways, from conservation efforts to event sponsorship.”

The Awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the end of the Hotel Industry Conference on 20 July, at The Langham, Auckland.

The New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards 2017 Finalists

Hotel Industry Administration Employee of the Year

  • Clara Anderson, Accountant, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
  • Noreen Bancale, Financial Controller, Novotel Christchurch
  • Alison Borland, Guest Relations Executive, SKYCITY Grand Hotel, Auckland

Hotel Industry Concierge of the Year

  • Ingmar Becker, Chief Concierge, Bolton Hotel, Wellington
  • Gustavo Concha, Chief Concierge, Hilton Auckland
  • David Tabor, Chief Concierge, Sudima Christchurch Airport

Hotel Industry Food and Beverage Employee of the Year, supported by ServiceIQ

  • Bhavna Abhilasha, Food and Beverage Supervisor, Sudima Auckland Airport
  • Abbey Lucas, Food and Beverage Supervisor, Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
  • Naomi Oh, Food and Beverage Supervisor, James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington

Hotel Industry Front Office Services Employee of the Year

  • Hemal Ghetla, Front Office Manager, Sudima Lake Rotorua
  • Varna Musalini, Guest Relations Officer, Novotel and Ibis Auckland Ellerslie
  • Sharyna Te Puia, Rooms Division Manager, Sofitel Wellington

Hotel Industry General Manager of the Year, supported by AHS Hospitality

  • Brad Burnett, General Manager - SKYCITY Hotels, Sky Tower, Tourism and Carpark, SKYCITY Entertainment Group, Auckland
  • Philip Hilton, Cluster General Manager, AccorHotels Wellington
  • Nicole Lawson, General Manager, CityLife Auckland
  • Pipiana Whiston, General Manager, Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Hotel Industry Housekeeper Employee of the Year, supported by ServiceIQ

  • Renu Begha, Assistant Executive Housekeeper, Hilton Queenstown
  • Lynette Faiva, Executive Housekeeper, Citylife Hotel Auckland
  • Heide Holtz, Executive Housekeeper, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Hotel Industry Outstanding Young Hotel Executive, supported by Sparkle Master Drycleaners

  • Christine Bronkhorst, Director of Quality, The Langham, Auckland
  • Danielle Davies, Business Development Executive - Hotels and Tower, SKYCITY Hotels Auckland
  • Vedika Jhunjhnuwala, Hotel Development Executive, Sudima Hotels and Resorts, Auckland

Hotel Industry Revenue Manager of the Year, supported by ARMA

  • Alex Appelman, Reservations and Yield Manager, Heritage Queenstown
  • Chris James, Director of Revenue, Auckland Market, Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
  • Ali Simforoosh, Director of Revenue Management, The Langham, Auckland

Hotel Industry Sales & Marketing Employee of the Year

  • Caroline Ah-Chong Douglas, Marketing Manager, SKYCITY Entertainment Group, Auckland
  • Gillian Knott, Assistant Director of Sales, Auckland, AccorHotels
  • Elena Sharma, Marketing Manager, Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Hotel Industry Senior Hotel Executive of the Year, supported by Dalman Architects

  • Judy Chen, Director of Sales and Marketing - Hotel Grand Chancellor NZ, James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington
  • Michael Shah, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Langham, Auckland

Hotel Industry Environmental Initiative of the Year

  • CP Hotels Ltd trading as Mercure Queenstown Resort
  • The Langham, Auckland
  • The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments, Queenstown