‘Ambushed’ Cantabrian takes top honors at New Zealand Tourism Awards

Graeme awardThe general manager of Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, Graeme Abbot, has won the Tourism Industry Champion Award at the New Zealand Tourism Awards.
The Award was presented to Graeme at a gala dinner in Auckland last night.
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa’s marketing manager Shane Adcock says the whole team is elated.
“Graeme is a one in a million manager – his business achievements speak for themselves but what his whole team loves is his down to earth and supportive nature.”
“He’s a typical humble kiwi and we knew he’d never put his hand up for such an award – so we secretly entered him. It was a bit of an ambush but it worked!”
Graeme has been general manager of the award-winning pools and spa complex for 15 years. During his tenure:
• The complex has physically grown in size by 50%
• Visitor numbers have risen from 380,000 to 520,000 people per year
• Turnover has risen from $4 million to $11 million per annum
• Environmental efficiency has increased with the business now saving 100 million litres of thermal water and 431,914 kilowatts of energy every year.
“Graeme also sits on the boards of Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism Board and MainPower and assists numerous organisations and businesses – particularly in Hanmer Springs. He is very well-respected and a long list of people supported our nomination of him,” says Shane Adock.
Graeme says he’s delighted to get the Award.
“I was really surprised when I found out the team was nominating me. They even had a journalist pretend to interview me to get the information they needed for the entry but in the end had to let me in on the secret as they needed my CV!”
“I am very lucky to work for one of the most fantastic attractions in New Zealand’s most beautiful alpine spa village. The complex has grown enormously in the last 15 years – that’s not just down to me, it’s a team effort. I’m very touched the team thinks I deserve some recognition though!”
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa was also a finalist for the Business Excellent Award (for businesses with an annual turnover of $6 million). Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours won that category.
“We were a little disappointed with that result,” says Graeme. “But then if you’re going to lose to anyone then Hobbits are a good option... they’ve done a lot for New Zealand after all!”
For further information...
Graeme Abbot
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa 0274 360 686 graeme@hanmersprings.co.nz