Must-see at­trac­tion wins three awards

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - TOURISM AWARDS

Hob­biton Movie Set won top hon­ours in three cat­e­gories at the Tourism In­dus­try Awards.

The Mata­mata busi­ness won the Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Award – an­nual turnover more than $6 mil­lion; the Tourism Mar­ket­ing Cam­paign Award; and the in­au­gu­ral Peo­ple’s Choice Award.

The awards evening was held in Auck­land on Septem­ber 29.

It comes on the back of Hob­biton’s suc­cess at a lo­cal level, win­ning the Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Award at the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Busi­ness Awards ear­lier this year.

At the Tourism In­dus­try Awards, the judges com­mended Hob­biton for be­com­ing an iconic, must-see at­trac­tion in a short space of time.

‘‘We are ex­cited and hum­bled to re­ceive three pres­ti­gious awards in­clud­ing the new Peo­ple’s Choice ac­co­lade awarded by our val­ued cus­tomers,’’ says Rus­sell Alexan­der, manag­ing di­rec­tor of Hob­biton Movie Set.

‘‘It’s also fan­tas­tic to be recog­nised by our in­dus­try peers for our ef­forts in busi­ness and mar­ket­ing.

‘‘Hob­biton is proud to be based in Mata­mata and the Waikato re­gion, which is strongly emerg­ing as an in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tor des­ti­na­tion.’’

Hamilton and Waikato Tour- ism CEO, Ja­son Daw­son says hav­ing two Waikato op­er­a­tors as fi­nal­ists in the an­nual na­tional tourism awards is pos­i­tive and valu­able in­dus­try ac­knowl­edge­ment for the re­gion.

‘‘This is a tes­ta­ment to the com­mit­ment, pas­sion and hard work of our op­er­a­tors.

‘‘The Alexan­der fam­ily and Hob­biton team have worked tire­lessly to achieve their worl­drenowned sta­tus.

‘‘So it’s phe­nom­e­nal their hard work recog­nised.’’

Last year Hob­biton Movie Set wel­comed over 460,000 guests to to see being this liv­ing movie set lo­cated in ru­ral Waikato.

Visi­tors have grown al­most ten­fold over the past four years – al­most all in­ter­na­tional.

Growth has been driven by the per­se­ver­ance of the Alexan­der fam­ily, a ded­i­cated team of staff, the sup­port of Sir Peter Jack­son and in­no­va­tive al­liances.

These in­clude life-sized Hobbit Holes in London and Sin­ga­pore as well as a Hobbit Cricket Cup, and a Hob­biton episode of a Chi­nese re­al­ity TV show which had a to­tal view­er­ship of over 400 mil­lion peo­ple. mar­ket­ing

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