Tour set’s winning formula
When it comes to promoting business overseas, it’s all about putting New Zealand first, your region second and ‘‘to be honest’’ your product third.
That’s the strategy the winner of this year’s Matamata Bayleys Business Excellence Awards employs when educating people overseas about the Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours.
The award was among six presented at a special event at the Matamata Civic and Memorial Centre.
Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours general manager Russell Alexander said he regularly travels overseas on business and most people have an understanding of what the movie set tours are all about.
‘‘There is an awareness of the business but there’s always a bit of education to do to help people understand what we do, to understand more about New Zealand, the region and our product. ‘‘It’s about getting the right mix.’’ Alexander said working overseas had delivered a lot of opportunities for the business but also made him realise how lucky he was to live in Matamata.
‘‘The world is a big place and you realise that New Zealand is minute. You realise that we are bloody spoilt to live here in Matamata.
‘‘This is the land of opportunity and it’s up to us to take those opportunities.’’
Alexander said he was humbled the business had won the award, which was among six others presented at a special function organised by the Matamata-Piako District Council to acknowledge distinction in the district’s enterprise.
Over 300 people attended including guest speaker Theresa Gattung, the former CEO of Telecom and cofounder of My Food Bag.
Alexander said he hoped the award would serve as some recognition for the work his staff had put into the tours.
He had been particularly active
Contribution to CommunityAward: Maber Family.
Gull Customer Service Award: Forget Me Not Florist (Matamata); Unichem Pharmacy (Morrinsville); Te Aroha Veterinary Services (Te Aroha).
Bayleys Business Excellence Award: Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours (Matamata); Dirpose Miller (Morrinsville); K9 Country Kennels (Te Aroha). in promoting young people through the business and indicated the award was a result of their contribution.
‘‘Theresa Gattung mentioned in her presentation, that you surround yourself with people that have better skills than you.
‘‘And that’s what we’ve been doing. Young people have a lot more skills, knowledge and ability than what I have got.
‘‘So they’re able to fill the gaps in your business that need attention.’’
Alexander said when he started the tour business over a decade ago people doubted its longevity.
But he says there are plenty of opportunities to further the business.
‘‘New Zealand tourism is really growing at the moment, it’s going mad.
‘‘The potential for us to grow as a company, for us as [Matamata/Piako] region is unlimited.
‘‘It’s all about how we decide to embrace the opportunities out there.
‘‘We won’t get then all right but if we take a punt, some of them will prove successful.’’
Alexander said he thought the annual business awards event was a great way to demonstrate the business opportunities and entrepreneurship of the Matamata-Piako district.
‘‘It’s not just about those that got up [to receive awards] tonight it’s about giving everyone a chance to come together and to highlight the work we’ve been doing.’’
More from the business awards, pages 3 & 12.
‘‘The world is a big place ... you realise that we are bloody spoilt to live here in Matamata.’’