TNZ ‘Essential New Zealand’ takes Gold at Best Design Awards

Tourism New Zealand's (TNZ) mobile travel app - 'Essential New Zealand' - has taken out a top accolade at The Designers Institute Best Design Awards, winning Gold for Interactive Design- Applications.

Launched in July 2013, the free application (app) makes it easier for travellers to access information on the go while in New Zealand, without the need for a WiFi connection, encouraging them to do and see more while here.

The Best Design Awards is New Zealand's annual showcase of excellence in graphic, spatial, product and interactive design. Entries judged Best in each category are awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze.

Kevin Bowler, CE Tourism New Zealand said, "Having the app acknowledged by New Zealand's leading designers is a huge honour and endorses the apps' innovation and quality design.

"As we have seen with, we know that a great design and outstanding user experience translates into increased referrals to the New Zealand tourism industry and international travel sellers. This is already showing results for the industry with the app accessed by over 25,000 users to date.

Tourism New Zealand's Essential New Zealand iOS App was submitted for the award by TBWA\Digital Arts Network (DAN), who worked in collaboration with TNZ to research and design the app as part of its global agency agreement.

The app works in tandem with TNZ's mobile optimised travel website,, to enhance the visitor experience and improve access to information that meets traveller's needs.

In the past year TNZ has received record traffic to, attracting more than 14.1 million visits. Underscoring the importance of mobile to TNZ's digital strategy, the volume of traffic from mobile devices increased 250 per cent for the same period, with referrals to the tourism industry from consumers on mobile devices increasing a staggering 1,400 per cent.

"With travellers engaging with digital media both prior to and throughout the travel process - Essential New Zealand was a critical addition to our digital channels, ensuring information is readily available to travellers regardless of where they are or what they are doing," Kevin concluded.

Commenting on the win, Che Tamahori, Managing Director of DAN said, "The whole team is delighted to see Essential New Zealand recognised at the Best Awards. The app was borne out of some great user research. And like, we see it as a platform that will only get better as we respond to visitors' usage and feedback."

Essential New Zealand was nominated alongside other Interactive Apps designed and released in 2013, including TBWA\DAN's TVNZ Ondemand for Mobile and NZFunds myWealth. It was awarded Gold alongside Strategy Design and Advertising's Bulletin App developed for Christchurch Art Gallery.

The Android version of Essential New Zealand is currently in the final stages of development and will be available for international visitors to download before November 2013.

For more information on the awards see Best Awards.

Leah Phelps, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand; +64 21 843 896