Hob­biton top Waikato busi­ness

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - MIKE MATHER

‘‘Hob­biton Movie Set has re-di­rected tourism flows in New Zealand and cat­a­pulted Mata­mata into the spot­light.’’

For a laid-back race of peo­ple whose life­style re­volves around farm­ing, eating and so­cial­is­ing, those Hob­bits are also, ev­i­dently, ex­tremely busi­ness savvy.

The Mata­mata-based busi­ness Hob­biton Movie Set has won the supreme award at the Waikato Busi­ness Awards.

An­nounced at the end of a gala din­ner at the Claude­lands Events Cen­tre in Hamil­ton, the ac­co­lade is an ad­di­tion to a grow­ing stock­pile of awards the busi­ness has picked up in re­cent times.

Hob­biton also won three of the top prizes in the an­nual Tourism In­dus­try Awards: the Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Award – an­nual turnover more than $6 mil­lion; the Tourism Mar­ket­ing Cam­paign Award; and the in­au­gu­ral Peo­ple’s Choice Award. In Septem­ber Hob­biton won the Mata­mata Bay­leys Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Award.

As well as the ti­tle of supreme busi­ness in the Waikato awards, Hob­biton also earned gongs in the busi­ness growth and mar­ket­ing cat­e­gories.

Waikato Cham­ber of Com- merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Wil­liam Durn­ing said the award re­flected a lot of hard work.

‘‘The in­tense com­pe­ti­tion and qual­ity of en­tries, cou­pled with the fact that the judges de­lib­er­ated long and hard over se­lect­ing win­ners should give great pride to [man­ag­ing di­rec­tor] Rus­sell Alexan­der and all the team from Hob­biton Movie Set,’’ he said.

‘‘Hob­biton Movie Set has redi­rected tourism flows in New Zealand and cat­a­pulted Mata­mata into the spot­light. Hob­biton has be­come one of the ‘must see’ des­ti­na­tions in New Zealand with ap­prox­i­mately one in eight in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors vis­it­ing Hob­biton dur­ing their trip. ‘‘This suc­cess is at­trib­uted to a fo­cus on con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment, staff qual­ity and rev­enue di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion. With 460,000 vis­i­tors in 2016, the com­pany has worked tire­lessly to re­alise the vi­sion of an au­then­tic and in­for­ma­tive vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence within a liv­ing movie set.

‘‘The busi­ness is de­liv­er­ing across cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, growth, and bot­tom line per­for­mance tar­gets. It has ef­fec­tive strate­gies to con­tinue a high rate of growth. It gives back to its com­mu­nity on mul­ti­ple lev­els.’’

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