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Regional i-SITEs recognised for innovation and excellence

Six i-SITEs from across the country have been recognised for their innovation, excellence and outstanding customer service at the annual i-SITE awards, held in Whangarei in September.

i-SITE New Zealand Executive Manager Paul Yeo says the winning i-SITEs exemplify the high standards set by the national visitor centre network, which is comprised of more than 80 i-SITES servicing around 7.5 million domestic and international tourists.

“Research shows that i-SITEs around the country improve visitor experiences, which in turn increases local spending and generates local benefits.

“In most regions, around two-thirds of the GDP generated by local i-SITES stays within the region.”

Waihi, Whanganui and Cromwell i-SITES were the recipients of three 2015 i-SITE Innovation Awards.

Waihi i-SITE General Manager Eddie Morrow says a significant amount of time went into developing and designing a new style of information delivery so it would meet the needs of today’s travellers and visitors.

“It’s really great to get this external validation that Waihi is at the leading edge of visitor information and services delivery.”

Lyn Cheyne, Visit Whanganui’s Promotion & Marketing Manager, says they are delighted with the award and recognition for continuing to deliver customer service during the June flood in Whanganui.

“It was the dedication and commitment of both our permanent and casual staff that enabled us to identify the best options for both our customers and Whanganui tourism operators during that time.

“The use of social media, the national i-SITE intranet and the excellent response of Wanganui District Council meant we were able to provide up-to-date information each day and ensure the correct messages were distributed nationwide, as well as on the ground.”

Cromwell Visitor Information Centres Manager Nick Lanham says his team are absolutely stoked with the win.

“Our new location and design has really paid off for us in terms of the numbers that we are getting through, the experience that we are offering, and the flow on effect to the region.”

The Cromwell i-SITE also won its bid to host the national i-SITE conference in 2016.

Further awards included the 2015 Qualmark New Zealand Customer Experience Award, which recognises an i-SITE that provides exceptional customer experience.

Upper Hutt i-SITE award recipient, Administration and i-SITE Manager Michelle Donohue, says it is a huge honour and privilege to receive the award.

“We are a small team dedicated to providing our customers with the best service and experience.

“We will continue to make every effort to further enhance our services in our continuous pursuit for service excellence with innovative approaches.”

The 2015 Customer Radar Award went to the Moteuka i-SITE, and Centre Manager Lois Walker says she was immensely proud to accept the award on behalf of her team.

“So many people talk about it as being one of the friendliest i-SITES they’ve ever been to and I think that’s the key to it being successful.

“The team is really friendly and efficient in the way they confer information and then engage with the customers.”

Kaikoura won the 2015 Trip Advisor Award and i-SITE Centre Manager Mariet van Vierzen, says winning this award has truly been a team effort.

“As a small community we work very hard to attract visitors to Kaikoura, and once they get here, we work as a team to deliver an unforgettable visitor experience.”

i-SITE is New Zealand’s official visitor information network delivering expert local knowledge at over 80 locations. More than 7 million people visit i-SITEs every year for information, itinerary planning and bookings.

For more information please contact Paul Yeo – i-SITE New Zealand Executive Manager: M+64 21 403 513 or paul.yeo@tnz.govt.nz

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