2016 was a massive year for Rotorua Canopy Tours, winning the tourism industry's top prize, the Air New Zealand Supreme Tourism Award at a glitzy black tie event in Auckland attended by the Prime Minister John Key. As well as the Supreme Award the company also won the Environmental Tourism Award and the Visitor Experience Award.
The judges said “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.” They also called us "almost obsessive" in our approach to customer service. You can read the full story of how this small business, founded by a couple of university mates grew from an idea into the Supreme Tourism Award winner within 4 years by clicking here.
Photo: The Rotorua Canopy Tours team getting a few good selfies with the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key.
Things just kept getting better and in October 2016, Rotorua Canopy Tours also received the Supreme Award at the Westpac Rotorua Business Excellence Awards, along with the Attractions Business Award and Excellence in Sustainable Practices Award. The judges there said they couldn't fault the company's dedication to providing a 100% world class visitor experience.
While Rotorua Canopy Tours has only been operating for 4 years, business is thriving – starting with just four-part time staff, the company now has 22 permanent staff, which swells to 40 over the summer months. It is a wonderful example of perseverance, commitment and total dedication to creating a tourism business that's leads and redefines what a great visitor experience is in the 21st century.
Despite the growth in demand, Rotorua Canopy Tours remains true to its core values, continuing to offer small personalized Canopy Tours (10 people max per tour) with kiwi guides delivering an outstanding visitor experience every time.
Photo: The Rotorua Canopy Tours team about to head out and celebrate taking out the top award in the tourism industry.
As well as the zipline adventure, visitors learn about Rotorua Canopy Tours’ conservation programme and the progress it has made to restore the native forest, with each visitor contributing to the conservation programme through their admission. More than $250,000 has been poured back into the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve. With the completion of phase three of the trapping programme, 180 hectares of the forest is now under pest control with the use of 650 automated self-resetting Goodnature traps. For those that visited prior to the pest control programme the results are obvious - bird life is flourishing and the forest health is recovering after years of decline.
The judges were "simply blown away" by the commitment Rotorua Canopy Tours has to conservation and the drive to deliver a 100 per cent world class visitor experience.
Check out the video below to hear about how Rotorua Canopy Tours and the conservation programme began.