Hobbiton top Waikato business
‘‘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.’’