Supreme tourism award winner rockets to success
Rotorua Canopy Tours, a young business that combines thrills and conservation, is New Zealand's top tourism business for 2016.
Rotorua Canopy Tours, a business that in just four years has visitors raving and nature flourishing, has beaten off stiff competition to win the tourism industry’s highest accolade, the Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Award 2016.
The young business offers visitors a phenomenal nature experience – a three hour small group journey into an ancient native forest, using walking rails, treetop platforms, swinging bridges and ziplines.
Business is flourishing – from just four part time staff four years ago it now has 22 permanent staff, expanding to 40 over summer.
At the heart of its success is an exceptional visitor experience that has raised the bar of personalisation, authenticity and fun, attracting a premium price tag.
Despite the temptations, the business has remained true to its core value. Rotorua Canopy Tours has strong business principles, no discounting and limits numbers to maintain the quality of the visitor experience.
There is strong investment in tour guide development and ecology and an almost obsessive focus on the customer experience!
As well as fun and adventure, visitors learn about Rotorua Canopy Tours’ promise to restore the 500 hectare forest it operates in. Visitors contribute to the conservation programme through their admission.
The promise from the outset has been to restore the 500 hectare forest it operate in – a prime example of intact and beautiful remnant native forest, but suffering from an infestation of introduced mammals.
The whole organisation was shaped to make this happen, and since the business started in 2012, more than $250,000 has been poured back into the reserve. Today, more than one third of the forest is pest free.
The judges said this thriving business, just 10 minutes’ drive from downtown Rotorua, is an excellent combination of people, culture, environment and a fantastic activity for all ages to enjoy.
“Rotorua Canopy Tours has demonstrated incredible progress. Visitor numbers have been growing year on year, the business has reinvested into a new headquarters at the entrance to Rotorua and outstanding environmental outcomes have been achieved as a result of passion, innovation and perseverance.”