Award-winning Hobbiton rises
The Hobbiton movie set has been named the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand’s Operator of the Year.
As the two day tourism conference, where the award was presented, was held in Hamilton, Hobbiton had already organised to run a gala event on the second night.
The special event was complete with fire breathers and a guided tour for the conference members in Hobbit themed costumes.
‘‘ Having just won the award and then showing the tourism members around Hobbiton the next night enabled the guests to exclaim ‘I can see why they won it’,’’ Tourism Export Council chief executive Lesley Immink said.
The council members, who are tourism operators from all over the country, had nominated Hobbiton for the award.
The council board decides the finalists who then put on a sales pitch to the members to decide the winner.
General manager of the Hobbiton movie set, Russell Alexander, said winning the award was a huge honour as it was judged by his
AWARD WINNERS: From left, Russell Alexander, general manager of the Hobbiton Movie Set, Lesley Immink, chief executive of the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand and Shayne Forrest, marketing manager of the Hobbiton Movie Set. GRAND TOUR, right: Tourism Export Council of New Zealand conference goers had a grand tour of Hobbiton last Wednesday.
HOBBIT HOLE: From left, Ross Shearer, Jake Downing and Robyn Cormack outside a hobbit hole.
KNEES UP: Hobbiton board member George Hickton, Matamata Piako mayor Jan Barnes and Holiday Parks chief executive officer Fergus Brown certainly looked the part.